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The New Hampshire Lottery has begun their review process of 13 candidates that want to run sports betting operations in the state.
The state’s official lottery chief, Charlie McIntyre, told the media on Monday that applications will be audited in the coming weeks. He also noted that he would like to have contracts concluded before the end of November.
“It’s an energizing time,” McIntyre said.
If the application process goes smoothly, the state could open betting by mid-2020. That start date would mark just over six months from when Gov. Chris Sununu signed the law that would bring legal wagering to New Hampshire.
Gaming companies had until last Friday to submit applications to the New Hampshire Lottery. The Lottery will operate through a recently created Division of Sports Wagering, which was formed in the language of the new betting law.
The names of the 13 vendors will remain anonymous through the application process in an effort to safeguard companies that might not make the cut.
“We are pleased and encouraged at both the robust number of responses and the overall quality of proposals,” McIntyre said in a press release.
“As the critical next step in the process, we look forward to reviewing each response carefully and thoroughly to ensure we can ultimately make the right decisions in launching a sports betting system that engages and protects players, while also driving crucial revenue for education in the Granite State.”
New Hampshire’s law does have limits on total operators as the state is bound to only allow up to 10 licensed physical sportsbooks and up to five online operators that offer sports betting.
McIntyre believes that the law was created in part to squash illegal gambling, so all operators will be thoroughly vetted to make sure that all leadership within the company is legitimate.
“It’s a very high-level business. It requires a lot of financial experience in that area,” McIntyre said. “It’s folks that do it now on a significant scale. It’s not two kids and a laptop in their garage who think they can do sports betting because they’re really good at fantasy sports.”
Early estimates for betting revenue in New Hampshire are around $10 million for the first year of wagering. The state’s lottery has just broken a record bringing in $384.2 million in total sales that has provided over $100 million for state education funding.
For operators, the selection process will be detailed with the evaluation period for candidates to extend to sometime in November. After the lottery makes their selections, operators will have to agree to a set of rules before they are granted permission.
The proposals submitted to the lottery had to include an economic plan for how the casino would benefit the local areas they will inhabit.
The reason why the businesses had to detail a city plan of enrichment is that all communities will be able to approve by vote if they want a casino in their community.
According to McIntyre, several cities have already placed the possibility of a ballot for approval in the upcoming elections this fall.
“We’re going to want them to be in places where they’re going to do the most good,” McIntyre said.
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