New Hampshire Takes Bold Approach to Sports Betting

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New Hampshire Takes Bold Approach to Sports Betting

The news that New Hampshire has agreed an exclusive deal with DraftKings to provide sports betting services in the state has sparked plenty of debate in the region.

The deal will see the New Hampshire Lottery receive 51% of revenue from mobile sports wagering, which is initially expected to launch during the early part of 2020.

Retail sports betting will follow in due course, with the cities of Manchester, Somersworth, Franklin, Laconia, Berlin and Claremont all voting in favor of the opening of sportsbook locations.

Read on as we assess the latest state-of-play for sports betting in New Hampshire and look at some of the reaction to the new agreement.

DraftKings delighted to tie-up New Hampshire

New Hampshire gave gambling operators the opportunity to bid for licenses to provide sports betting services in the state.

DraftKings blew the competition out of the water with its bid, promising to pay more than half of its revenues from mobile sports betting.

The offer, which also sees DraftKings pay 40 percent of its retail revenues, was on condition that they were the only operator in the market.

The DraftKings bid left rival firms trailing in their wake and has seen them handed a monopoly for the next six years with an option to extend beyond that time frame.

Matt Kalish, Chief Revenue Officer and Co-founder at DraftKings, said: “We look forward to collaborating further with the New Hampshire Lottery to bring the DraftKings experience to sports fans in the Granite State.

“Our best-in-class mobile sportsbook and several retail locations throughout the state are sure to be a hit with all types of customers, as legalized sports betting continues to expand across the country.”

Betting expert wary of DraftKings’ monopoly

While Kalish was understandably bullish about the deal, it hasn’t met with universal approval from within the industry.

Gambling expert and author, Jack Andrews, believes that the monopoly has the potential to be detrimental to bettors in New Hampshire.

He says that the lack of choice will lead to successful punters being prevented from making a profit from their gambling activities.

“DraftKings does not do its own risk management – it’s outsourced to a Swedish company called Kambi Sports,” he said. “Kambi sets the lines and performs risk management in exchange for a cut of the gross gaming revenue.

“Kambi is incentivized to help DraftKings be profitable. They identify the customers who won’t be losing fast enough and discourage them from continuing to play by limiting what they can wager.

“If you’re one of the few who can beat sports betting, then you can expect to have ridiculously low limits at a Kambi-run shop.

“This isn’t a big deal for me, because I live in New Jersey and if they don’t want my action, I’ll move onto another sportsbook that does. There’s eighteen in the state currently. However, in New Hampshire, with only a single option, this is a big detriment to any potential sports bettor.”

Successful lottery highlights why New Hampshire could be onto a winner

Andrews’ views certainly could be argued to have some merit if DraftKings fail to provide consumers with a high level of service.

However, the success of the lottery in New Hampshire highlights that a monopoly doesn’t necessarily have to be a bad thing.

For DraftKings the deal is undoubtedly a positive one, particularly as they have been able to structure it around mobile sports betting.

Research from other states has shown that more than three-quarters of sports bets are now placed via mobile devices.

With a population of over 1.35 million people, it is easy to see how DraftKings’ strategy could be a hugely lucrative one.

The deal also helps the state, particularly in the short term, as it strives to remove illegal offshore operators from the landscape.

By agreeing a deal with a company who will be fully licensed and regulated to offer its services in the jurisdiction, state legislators are giving consumers peace of mind that they can place bets in a safe environment.