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New Hampshire Online Gambling Laws

The information on this page is provided to assist players living or visiting the state of New Hampshire who are interested in the legal options available when it comes to New Hampshire online gambling. We cover the current status of NH gambling laws, including the legality and availability of New Hampshire online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks and bingo halls. We also cover the impact of federal laws, and how it impacts online gambling for New Hampshire players.

Under New Hampshire gambling law, it is a misdemeanor offense to indulge in gambling unless it is a form of gambling specifically exempt by law. The law defines gambling as the risking of something of value on a future contingent event that is not under one's influence or control and upon an understanding or agreement that in the event of a specific outcome, something of value will be received. It is a crime to gamble or loan money or anything of value to aid another to gamble.

The size of an illegal gambling operation will determine the nature of charge for conducting an illegal gambling operation. Conducting an illegal gambling operation is a misdemeanor if someone conducts, directs, finances, supervises, manages or owns the business wholly or in part and that person knowingly and unlawfully allows gambling on the business premises. However the charge will be bumped to a felony if the business operates for more than 10 days, generates more than $2000 in a day or accepts wagers exceeding $5000 in a 30 day period.

New Hampshire gambling law does not specifically address poker. There are no laws in the state that regulate or ban state based online gambling or online poker. State law also does not prohibit players from participating in New Hampshire online poker or casino gambling that takes place at legally licensed and regulated gambling sites that are located outside of the USA. The law does not contain any specific exception for home or social games of poker. Charitable gambling is permitted in New Hampshire. The state Racing and Charitable Gaming Commission oversees charitable gaming in the state. Charitable organizations with a charitable gaming license can conduct charitable gambling events. To be eligible for a charitable gaming license the organization must:

History Of New Hampshire Gambling Laws

New Hampshire has a long history of gambling. Way back in the 1800s illegal gambling was rampant in the state. Gambling was very popular amongst the early settlers. In 1906 when Rockingham Park, a thoroughbred race track opened in Salem Depot, it attracted visitors from the state as well a from other states. However it was shut down by the authorities within three days as gambling was illegal. This however did not put an end to illegal gambling. It did however put an end to horse racing in the state. Gambling just went underground. However in 1933 the state legalized pari-mutuel betting and Rockingham Park reopened. Today Rockingham Park operates as a racino. A racino is a race track with components of casino gambling. While in other states, racinos can only have gambling machines, Rockingham Park has casino game tables including poker tables. There are also dog track racinos in the state that offer poker tables. It is legal to play real money poker at such racinos.

New Hampshire State Lottery Gambling Laws

New Hampshire has a state lottery. In 1964 it became the first state to have a state lottery. In the nearly 1960's a the state held a referendum asking the state residents to vote for or against a state lottery. More than 70% of the voters voted in favor of establishing the state lottery. With the establishment of the NH state lottery, New Hampshire became the first state to attempt state run gambling.

New Hampshire Land Based Gambling Laws

There are no land based casinos in New Hampshire. There are no Indian tribal casinos either. Way back in the 1980s to counter the growth of casinos in Atlantic City which attracted a lot of visitors from the state, a commission was set up to study the possibility of casino style gambling in the state. A bill was introduced in the legislature but was quickly defeated. A bill to allow riverboat gambling in the state was introduced in the legislature in 1992 but it was also defeated. A 1997 bill that sought to allow video lottery terminals never gather the required votes. In 2006 companies were permitted to operate games of chance at poker parlors.

Efforts To Legalize Online Gambling in New Hampshire

Playing online poker or casino games is not illegal under Federal laws. There has been no concerted effort by the New Hampshire legislature to regulate online gambling, including online poker. In 2010 the state Governor John Lynch declared that he would support online gambling in an attempt to tackle the state's budget deficit. This declaration came despite his known opposition to casinos and slot machines. He dropped the idea soon after. No legislator has made any attempts to bring a bill to regulate, permit or prohibit online poker in the state. It is currently illegal to operate any type of online gambling sites within New Hampshire. This being the case, it is highly advisable for NH players to limit their online gambling activities to legally licensed and regulate New Hampshire sports betting sites, casinos and poker rooms which are located outside of the United States. The same advisement goes for NH online bingo.

Are There Any Federal Laws Which Impact New Hampshire Online Gambling

The primary federal law concerning online gambling is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that was passed in 2006. Contrary to popular belief, the UIGEA bill does not prohibit US players from participating in online gambling. It does place regulatory oversight on how the online gambling transactions can be processed. It seeks to eliminate fraudulent and unethical methods for processing gambling related transactions that could place players at risk. It does not in any make it illegal for players to participate in online gambling.

New Hampshire Gambling Laws

For the convenience of those interested in reviewing the state's gambling laws in their entirety, you can access that information on the State of New Hampshire Revised Statutes Online Official Website where the official documents are available in their original context and language.

**This site is does not provide professional legal services of any kind, including legal advice or interpretation of any laws or statutes. This page is for informational purposes only. If you are seeking any type of professional legal services at all, we recommend that you contact an attorney.