Just five months after the state legalized and regulated sports betting, New Hampshire’s first and only online / mobile sportsbook is now live courtesy of DraftKings.
Lawmakers in the Granite State voted to legalize sports wagering back in June, which was followed by Governor Chris Sununu’s signature one month later.
As part of the bill, the New Hampshire Lottery is tasked with regulating the state’s sport betting industry.
After an open bidding process, the Greek gaming firm Intralot was tabbed to oversee the Lottery’s in-house sports betting product, consisting of parlay card games distributed via self-service kiosks.
Meanwhile, the Boston-based DraftKings – which recently merged with Malta-based sportsbook technology provider SBTech and went public on the Nasdaq – was named as New Hampshire’s exclusive operator of both online / mobile and brick and mortar sportsbooks.
DraftKings launched its online / mobile sportsbook app statewide on December 30, allowing anybody age 18 or over who is physically located within New Hampshire state lines to place legal wagers. All professional and collegiate athletics are on offer, excepting games which involve local New Hampshire universities and academic institutions.
In a press release issued by the company, DraftKings’ co-founder and chief revenue officer Matt Kalish celebrated the daily fantasy sports (DFS) turned sportsbook kingpin’s entrance into a fifth regulated statewide market:
“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.
We want to thank Governor Sununu, (Lottery) Director (Charlie) 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.”
Founded as a DFS platform in 2011, the company pivoted to include traditional sports betting in August of 2018 with the launch of DraftKings Sportsbook in New Jersey. In the interim, DraftKings has launched its online / mobile sports betting app in Indiana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and now New Hampshire.
To help secure its exclusive contract with the New Hampshire Lottery, DraftKings pledged to pay 51 percent in taxes on its gross gaming revenue – by far the highest rate imposed by any state thus far.
Governor’s Called Shot Comes to Fruition with Weeks to Spare
Standing alongside Kalish, Sununu was on hand Monday to place New Hampshire’s ceremonial first legal sports bet via the DraftKings app.
As the 82nd Governor in state history, Sununu appropriately wagered $82 on the New England Patriots to win Super Bowl 54.
That futures ticket made Sununu a winner on a similar wager made this October, when he told a local radio station that New Hampshire’s legal sportsbook industry would be live in time for local bettors to back their beloved Patriots this season.
In a statement issued by the Governor’s office, Sununu praised DraftKings as the perfect partner for New Hampshire given the company’s New England roots:
“Sports betting is the right bet for New Hampshire.
We moved fast to get this done by partnering with a world-class company to provide a first-rate customer service experience and the state is poised to dominate the market.
The launch of sports betting will also benefit our education system – a win for our kids.”
Brick and Mortar Sportsbooks Expected to Open by This Spring
In addition to the online / mobile app, DraftKings also holds the exclusive rights to operate brick and mortar sportsbooks throughout the state.
Currently, the company offers physical betting locations in Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, and New York.
Asked about potential opening dates for its retail locations, Kalish told the New Hampshire Union-Leader that bettors should expect sportsbooks to open their doors by this Spring:
“We don’t have an exact date, but we’re going to launch our first property in the first half of next year.
There’s a handful of cities that have already approved it and so we’re looking at the ones that have already been approved to make our determination where to enter.
It’s really no different except if you’re a cash bettor (and) you want to transact in cash and hold a physical ticket. We think it could be a pretty good opportunity in New Hampshire to supplement the mobile with a healthy amount of retail, because there’s a lot of customers who prefer to bet that way.”