New Hampshire’s Governor Counting on Sports Betting Revenue
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu recently unveiled his proposed two-year, $13 billion dollar state budget that prompted a lot of opinions from both sides of the political aisle. In his proposal, Sununu focused heavily on improving education within the state, introducing a loan forgiveness program for college graduates, and several key areas related to mental health. But, the one aspect of the budget proposal that really shook up the lawmakers in attendance and captured the attention of nationwide media outlets was Sununu’s desire to legalize sports betting. The governor strongly believes that New Hampshire should become the second state in the New England region to allow legal sports betting.
Governor Sununu’s Sports Betting Plan
Not only did the New Hampshire governor show optimism for the passage of a sports betting bill currently being tossed around by state leaders, but Sununu also estimated that the state could make up to $10 million a year in revenue from legal sports betting:
“This budget increases our education revenue streams by legalizing sports betting, which will bring in an additional $10 million in annual revenue beginning in fiscal year 2021. Given our new opportunities to legalize sports betting in a responsible and reliable way, and capture more revenue for our education system, I say we go All In and get it Done!”
Sununu believes that the state’s Lottery Commission would be best equipped to supervise sports betting and undertake the process of finding companies to offer legal wagers and to run the gaming process. Furthermore, the governor’s plan also called for:
- To fund the Council for Responsible Gaming, which will aid in treating gambling disorders and educate residents on the risks of gambling.
- To include mobile gaming within state borders.
- To become a legal alternative to the illegal sports betting black market.
- Only communities that approve sports betting will potentially host businesses that take sports wagers.
More Details About Bill HB480
Currently, state legislators are mulling over bill HB480, which is what the Governor was referring to in his budget proposal. The bill has bipartisan support and could reach the floor for voting sooner than later. Legislators discussed the bill a week ago, and with the governor’s recent push for sports betting, it’s almost a guarantee that HB480 will get more attention as the legislation session continues.
Some key aspects of the bill include:
- New Hampshire would set a 12% tax rate.
- 10% of the state’s revenue to go toward problem gambling and addiction.
- The Lottery Commission would hire nine people to regulate legal sports betting.
- All bettors must be at least 21 years old.
- Bettors must be physically within the state’s borders when placing wagers.
- New Hampshire college teams are excluded from being wagered on.
- No betting allowed on high school or fantasy sports.
“Go All in and Get It Done”
The main theme for the Governor’s budget proposal was a massive improvement to the state’s education system from college on down. However, he believes that legalizing sports betting could be a vehicle for funding some of his proposed education changes. With a bill already drafted and reviewed, and a Governor aggressively pushing for sports betting, it’s just a matter of time before the state legalizes it.
If the Granite State can legalize sports betting within the current legislation session, it would beat out nearby states like Connecticut and Massachusetts that are both struggling to craft a sports betting platform. That could be huge for potential sports betting revenue.
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