The stakes for Massachusetts sports betting are about to rise as another out-of-state betting option will soon exist in New Hampshire.
The Granite State will become the third of Massachusetts’ five neighboring states to offer legal sports betting of some kind. It could also be the one to take the most revenue from Massachusetts.
Why New Hampshire will be the prominent out-of-state betting option for Massachusetts residents
While New York and Rhode Island beat New Hampshire to the punch, New Hampshire’s swing at legalizing sports betting will be more powerful. That’s because it has a huge advantage on those other markets.
Currently, legal sports betting is tethered to brick-and-mortar sportsbooks in New York and Rhode Island. All online sports betting remains illegal in the Empire State, while bettors who wish to place mobile bets in Rhode Island have to register in person first.
When New Hampshire goes live, it will offer online wagering completely untied to retail sportsbooks. That means Massachusetts residents will be able to cross the border into New Hampshire and not only register to place bets but actually do so right from their phones.
Bay State residents will be able to make these wagers across state lines with a company that should be familiar to them. It’s not only one of the most popular brands in sports betting nationwide, but is based in their own capital city of Boston.
DraftKings is first to market in New Hampshire
After a short bidding process, DraftKings will be the first to receive a license to offer both mobile and retail sports betting in New Hampshire. The New Hampshire lottery scored DraftKings highest in its custom ranking.
Though DraftKings hasn’t announced a launch date for either product yet, it could be before the end of the current NFL season. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu expressed that sentiment during a recent radio interview.
That would also put DraftKings live in the Granite State prior to the 2019-20 NBA playoffs, NHL postseason and the start of the next Boston Red Sox season. On the contrary, DraftKings is nowhere close to launching in Massachusetts.
That’s because the Bay State government is completely inactive on sports betting legalization. Until that changes, New Hampshire will reap the benefits from their southern neighbor.
Where Massachusetts stands in the legalization process
Movement on regulating sports betting in Massachusetts has been relatively nonexistent. The legislature held a hearing back in July on the matter, but it was largely informational.
No House or Senate committees have scheduled further hearings or votes on any of the several bills present. Until that happens, the state is at a standstill on the matter.
When New Hampshire goes live, however, it could increase pressure on the Legislature to act. New Hampshire’s state treasury could get as much as 51% of sports betting revenue when it starts to roll in.
That means dollars could go from Massachusetts residents’ wallets into the coffers of the Granite State. Eventually, every day the Bay State delays would mean more potential tax dollars lost.
For Massachusetts residents at least, legalization in another nearby state is good news. Even if their own state government continues to drag its feet on legal sports betting, they will soon be able to place wagers from their phones, just across the New Hampshire border.