New Hampshire Opens its First Retail Sportsbook

The sports betting industry is back in business following a near-total shutdown in March. This is prompting more and more states to open the door to legal sports betting within their borders.

Earlier this month, New Hampshire officially opened its first land-based sportsbook in Seabrook. DraftKings Sportsbook at The Brook made it debut for betting on August 12. Under state law, it can offer legal wagers on all major professional and collegiate sports in the US.

The opening is finally taking place after Gov. Chris Sununu signed the gambling bill into law a little more than a year ago.
Seabrook passed a local referendum to allow retail locations for sports betting in its town. It was the first approved location in the state to actually open a land-based sportsbook.

The former dog racing track has been transformed into a full-service sportsbook with 90,000 square feet of gaming space. There are stand-alone betting kiosks and full walls with multiple video screens.

One of the coolest features of this location is the “Stadium.” This area of the book offers stadium seating on couches and movie theater-style chairs. There are three separate movie theater-sized screens along with hundreds of HD television screens.

The Brook was the brainchild of Eureka Casino Resorts. The Nevada-based gaming company also built a plan into the grand opening. This includes social distancing and added hand sanitizer stations. Patrons are required to wear masks inside the building.

DraftKings has plans to open a total of four retail sportsbooks throughout the state. In conjunction with the New Hampshire Lottery, it launched mobile sports betting back in December of 2019. Gov. Sununu actually placed the first mobile bet that month by betting on the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl LIV.

Since the state legalized sports betting, the total handle to date is more than $65 million. Rhode Island was the first New England state to offer legal online sports betting. Maine lawmakers approved a gambling expansion bill to legalize sports betting but Gov. Janet Mills vetoed the measure.

New Hampshire sportsbooks have positioned itself as a unique model for the expansion of legal sports betting. The state does not have any land-based casinos.
The state’s Lottery Commission was tasked with regulating all sports betting activity This is also the case in Oregon and the District of Columbia.

However, the state is not looking to create a monopoly for the industry.
The goal is to strike a competitive balance that is modeled after states such as Nevada sports betting and New Jersey sportsbooks. The overall market will be far smaller than the top two sports betting states in the nation.

New Hampshire’s sports betting law allows up to 10 retail locations statewide. Provisions also allow up to five online and/or mobile sports betting operators. As opposed to a fixed tax rate, a revenue share plan has been put into place.

The goal is to attract outside investment from companies such as DraftKings, which has already taken the lead. That company has also offered to share 51 percent of its revenue if it remains the sole operator in the state.

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