New Hampshire’s state motto is ‘Live Free or Die’ but the state’s gambling options don’t follow that mantra. The state has a lottery but otherwise has some of the most restrictive anti-gambling regulations in the United States.
The New Hampshire Lottery has the historical distinction of being the first state lottery in the modern era. It began in 1963 and remains hugely popular today. This might have as much to do with the minimal gambling options in the state as anything else. The New Hampshire Lottery today offers draw games with the national and regional pooled jackpots as well as ‘in state’ draws and an assortment of scratch off instant tickets. There is also a small selection of online ‘instant win’ games and state residents can buy Powerball and Mega Millions tickets online.
Parimutuel wagering was the first major type of gambling to be regulated in New Hampshire back in 1933 and allowing bets on horse and greyhound racing. Unfortunately, there’s no longer any live racing offered in the state. The final blow was an ill advised 10% tax added to winning horse race bets. It was repealed two years later but not in time to save horse racing in New Hampshire. Several tracks remain open to offer simulcast wagering, live poker and bingo based gaming machines.
There’s not much to suggest that the gambling industry status quo will change anytime soon. This also applies to sports betting where New Hampshire is making the same mistake as many other states and dithering over minutiae when they have the opportunity to become a leader in this new segment of the US gaming industry.