With only two days remaining in 2019, the Granite State chose to live free and bet.
The first New Hampshire online sportsbook launched on Monday, Dec. 30, when DraftKings’ mobile sports betting app went live in the state, becoming the second in the New England region to offer any type of legal sports betting.
Republican Governor Chris Sununu signed the NH sports betting bill into law during the Summer of 2019 and placed the state’s ceremonial first wager.
As the 82nd governor of New Hampshire, Sununu placed an $82 bet on the New England Patriots’ 12-to-1 odds to win Super Bowl LIV—all from his smartphone at Shoppers Pub + Eatery, a sports bar at Indian Head in Manchester.
Sports betting is LIVE here in the Granite State! We moved fast to get this done to bet on the @Patriots in time for the Super Bowl. Thanks to a packed crowd at @ShoppersMHT for joining us despite the snow! pic.twitter.com/RQjTF94DG7
— Chris Sununu (@GovChrisSununu) December 30, 2019
“Sports betting is the right bet for New Hampshire,” Sununu said after placing the state’s first bet on the Patriots to win the Super Bowl. “The launch of sports betting will also benefit our education system—a win for our kids.”
With the first wager in the books, anyone in New Hampshire who’s at least 18 years old can sign up for an account and bet on either DraftKings’ website or mobile app, which is fully licensed and regulated by the NH Lottery.
“This is a significant milestone and an exciting moment in the New Hampshire Lottery’s evolution, as sports betting represents a major addition to our portfolio of products,” said Charlie McIntyre, the New Hampshire Lottery’s executive director. “We are pleased to be working with DraftKings to introduce our players to a completely new way to win in New Hampshire and to continue maximizing revenue for education in the Granite State. All of New Hampshire and New England is hoping the Governor wins his wager!”
The Executive Council approved an exclusive agreement between DraftKings and the NH Lottery in late November. The six-year contract gives the betting company complete control over the newly legalized sports betting market in New Hampshire in exchange for a 50/50 revenue split.
Only online and mobile sports betting is available through the DraftKings platform at launch. Because the law doesn’t require sportsbooks operators to act as a “skin” for a legal casino, DraftKings is allowed to offer services at up to 10 retail brick-and-mortar locations—some of which are expected to open later this year.
Matt Kalish, who is the chief revenue officer and a co-founder of the Boston-based DraftKings, said he was glad to see NH gambling laws expand to allow their company to launch in a state so close to home.
“As a New England-based company, DraftKings is honored to launch our American-made sportsbook product in New Hampshire for the start of the NFL playoffs,” said Kalish, who was in attendance at the ceremony alongside the governor and Patriots great Rob Ninkovich.
“We want to thank Governor Sununu, Director McIntyre, and the New Hampshire Lottery for their commitment to launching safe, legal sports betting as soon as possible, and we look forward to working with them closely for many years to come,” Kalish added.
The U.S. Supreme Court repealed the Professional And Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) on May 14, 2018, ending the federal prohibition over state-regulated sports betting.
New Hampshire is now the 14th state to offer legal sports betting to the public, and seven more jurisdictions—Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.—are expected to launch sportsbooks sometime in 2020.