City Elections Determine Legal Gambling Growth in New Hampshire

Written By Chris Imperiale on November 30, 2021

Two city elections may introduce more legal gambling for New Hampshire residents.

During the Nov. 2 voting period, those in the Granite State decided on several gambling expansions.

Portsmouth had Keno on its ballot, while the city of Nashua chose whether a retail sportsbook could operate in the area.

Both forms of gambling will create more revenue for the state in general. However, both towns need to pass these items for the ball to get rolling.

Nashua deciding on 1st retail sportsbook

As for NH sports betting, Nashua voters can help add another retail location.

Although folks in New Hampshire can place bets online through DraftKings Sportsbook NH, there are just three retail options available in the state.

Nashua is in line to receive the fourth retail sportsbook location, joining Dover, Manchester, and Seabrook.

Bettors may prefer to have multiple online options, but they are fairly covered with a great platform in DraftKings. With only three retail spots set up, though, there is plenty of room for improvement in that area.

Going to the land-based sportsbook to view the games with your friends is an experience like going to the casino. It’s a great time for fans and brings in more bets and revenue.

While online betting will always dominate today’s market, the state is limiting itself to just a few retail sportsbooks.

Certainly, there is an interest for residents. NH sportsbooks accepted more than $725 million in wagers and more than 65,000 players have registered since they debuted in Dec. 2019.

Portsmouth to vote on Keno 603

Interestingly, Keno is having a difficult time passing in Portsmouth when it’s available in many other parts of the state.

Currently, 84 different towns and cities within NH approve of the game. It’s found in around 200 bars and restaurants. Since Keno is already so widespread throughout the state, it’s odd that it isn’t more accepted.

Local bars and restaurants which offer Keno attract more customers.  Many establishment owners are hoping things turn out differently this time around.

Jeff Goss, the owner of The Clipper Tavern, discussed how his business and others could benefit from the addition of Keno. According to NHPR, Goss said:

“With COVID and everything that has happened to the restaurant industry it’s another way to help rebuild, bring more people in, increase your lunch and dinner crowds.”

It’s tough to argue with his point when you look at the numbers. In this fiscal year alone, Keno games are responsible for over $16.5 million in sales.

Somehow, the Keno vote has been rejected multiple times in Portsmouth. It was shot down in 2017 and 2019, making this the third possible time residents can push it through.

The vote in 2019 was extremely close, though. The expansion of Keno 603 only lost by 513 total votes with a final tally of 2,967 to 2,454.

Bettors around the region must stay tuned to the election results to see if legal gambling in NH is ready to keep growing.

Photo by vepar5 / Shutterstock.com
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