New Hampshire Could Take A ‘Mass’ive Hit With Legal Sports Betting

Written By Veronica Sparks on May 17, 2022
NH sports betting revenue could suffer if MA launches

As Massachusetts moves ever closer to allowing sports betting, the impact on gambling revenue in New Hampshire could be substantial. New Hampshire could take a hit if MA launches sports betting.

During the last week of April, there was some progress for legal sports betting in Massachusetts. The MA Senate passed an amended version of a sports betting bill that could legalize betting on sports in the Bay State. Some MA lawmakers hope to see sports betting launch as early as January 2023.

With untold numbers of Massachusetts residents currently crossing New Hampshire state lines to place bets, NH sports betting could be looking at lost revenue once MA launches its program.

Mass. residents bring in up to $3M annually

New Hampshire sports betting has seen a lot of success since its launch in late 2019. The state had a record-breaking revenue month in January as well as a big year-over-year increase in Super Bowl bets.

So how much money does the Granite State stand to lose if MA allows sports betting?

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission has said that Massachusetts residents make up approximately 15% of those making mobile bets in NH. It’s estimated they are responsible for up to $3 million in NH sports wagering revenue per year.

New Hampshire could particularly see big dips in betting revenue on big events, like the Super Bowl, should MA sports betting launch.

DraftKings reported that more than a quarter of the Super Bowl 2022 bets placed in New Hampshire were from Massachusetts residents.

MA Gov. Charlie Baker mourned the loss of revenue for the Bay State on social media after the game. “MA is losing out to neighboring states on this,” he tweeted. “Especially during big games.” So New Hampshire could take a hit if MA launches sports betting.

Not a lot of concern in New Hampshire

While big events could see a big loss in sports betting revenue for New Hampshire, sportsbook owners and lottery executives are not overly concerned.

Dick Anagnost, who owns the Filotimo Casino in Manchester, proposed that the Seabrook sportsbook may see more impact than the one at his location. He said his casino has just a handful of regular patrons who are MA residents. He said:

“Our impact from Massachusetts is going to be minimal.”

New Hampshire Lottery Director Charlie McIntyre is unconcerned about Massachusetts’ progress when it comes to sports betting. He attributed MA’s move toward sports betting to New Hampshire’s success. He said, “we’re not surprised other states would look to replicate our success.”

New Hampshire paved the way for a lot of surrounding states when it comes to legalizing sports betting. After NH launched, both Connecticut and New York followed suit.

Maine could also be close to legalizing sports betting, as a bill is awaiting the signature or veto of Gov. Janet Mills.

How close is Massachusetts to allowing sports betting?

The battle for legal sports betting in Massachusetts has been dragging on for multiple years. The state’s House tried multiple times to legalize gambling, but their bills all fell flat in the state’s uninterested Senate.

Last month, though, the MA Senate finally passed its first sports betting bill. It was an amended version of the latest House sports wagering bill.

While this may seem like a leap in progress, the two versions of the bill have a lot of differences, which could mean a lengthy debate among lawmakers before finally agreeing.

Should a final bill be agreed before Jul. 31 this year, MA could see legal sports betting by early 2023.

College sports betting could still bring in MA dollars

One difference between the Massachusetts House bill and the amended one the Senate passed is the inclusion of college sports in legal betting. Whether college sports should be included has been a source of contention among MA lawmakers.

A likely outcome is that a Massachusetts sports betting bill passes as long as it excludes collegiate sports. That means New Hampshire could still see some revenue from MA residents even after a sports betting launch in the Bay State.

For example, the NCAA college basketball tournament has drawn big crowds of bettors for the past few years. In 2021, the tournament brought in bets totaling $15.1 million in New Hampshire.

Where does New Hampshire betting revenue go?

New Hampshire has an exclusive deal with DraftKings as its only mobile sportsbook. The state charges a whopping 51% in taxes on sports betting revenue.

Should NH decide to add more online sportsbooks, the tax rate for DraftKings would drop. The rate would go down to 21% if a second or third mobile sportsbook were added, and down to 16% if a fourth or fifth were added.

Both sports betting tax revenue, as well as proceeds from the New Hampshire Lottery, go toward education funds in the Granite State.

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