New Hampshire Gambling Laws

Known for its libertarian motto, ‘Live Free or Die’, New Hampshire gambling laws are perhaps a little restrictive and somewhat at odds with the Granite State’s motto.

The state bans commercial casinos, and tribal gambling is non-existent, New Hampshire is home to several de facto casinos that offer games like blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker for their patrons. Small single-room venues are sometimes located in strip malls and pubs, with a few of the larger establishments occupying the state’s defunct racetracks.

 

On the upside, online gaming options relatively progressive with the state of New Hampshire allowing for Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), online horse racing betting and interestingly, the sale of online lottery tickets in what was the very first state lottery to be introduced in the U.S.A.

New Hampshire Casino Gambling

Casino-style gaming in New Hampshire was enabled through the use of a charity ‘loophole’ in the state’s laws. By “donating” 35 percent of their revenue to charity and partnering with charities, poker rooms and casino clubs are free under the law to offer any game of chance.

As per the above explanation in the ‘Guide to Gambling in New Hampshire’ section, high-limit Las Vegas style action is generally not available (with the exception of poker) are usually capped at maximum $4 limits, although a new law that is extending betting limits to $150 is now coming into force in some poker rooms.

Even with its small wagering limits, the charitable casino industry in New Hampshire has thrived for more than four decades.

Online Casino Laws

New Hampshire has not yet implemented the introduction of legal online casinos.

However, the signs are positive that the legalization of sports betting will lead the way for online casinos to follow in the medium to longer term.

For online players more accustomed to more liberal online casino gambling laws, New Hampshire may feel a bit restrictive, however, compared to its near neighbor Vermont, the future outlook is far more favorable.

For now, it is true to say that while New Hampshire is a state where online casinos are effectively a “no-man’s land” in terms of legality, New Hampshire sure has its fair share of land-based table games and poker rooms to keep players winning in the short term.

Given the relatively strict online gaming laws prevalent in the state of New Hampshire, our advice to the state’s gamblers is clear;

We accordingly advise all New Hampshire’s online players to meanwhile stick to DFS real money online betting options, online horse racing betting and the state’s online lottery ONLY (not illegal in New Hampshire) and to abstain from playing ANY online casinos (either off-shore or U.S-based online casinos) until legalization of online casinos takes place in the state.

Poker in New Hampshire

Poker in New Hampshire runs exclusively out of the state’s highly developed Poker Rooms, readily available across the state. Whilst some types of licensed Poker are heavily promoted, legislated on and actively encouraged in New Hampshire, unlicensed Poker and other forms of unlicensed games are not.

Poker Rooms

New Hampshire has a total of 11 poker rooms offering more than 300 tables. In those rooms, it is perfectly legal to play different types of poker without fear of breaking any laws (including Pot-Limit Omaha, Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud Poker, No Limit Hold’em etc.).
In New Hampshire, unlicensed poker, unlicensed roulette or unlicensed roulette (Stick to playing legally in the poker rooms as playing unlicensed ‘social games’ for money in your own home is actively discouraged), are all seen as forms of illegal and prohibited gaming and can theoretically be charged as criminal misdemeanors in New Hampshire (although no-one has ever been charged under the law).

Online Poker Laws

If you wish to play Poker legally in New Hampshire without fear of punitive punishment, New Hampshire Poker Laws point towards sticking to the Licensed Poker Rooms for the time being. The Poker Game of choice in New Hampshire poker rooms at the current time is the Pot-Limit Omaha variant and Casino Hold’em and No Limit Hold’em are both popular player’s favorite.
Online poker is still illegal in New Hampshire at the moment. However, as soon as we hear different, we’ll let you know.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in New Hampshire

Although online gambling was stripped away from a previous legalization bill in New Hampshire, the ‘times-are-a-changing’ and if revenue raising options continue to be seriously encouraged (as they seem to be), it would seem that a re-think on current gambling legislation is close at hand.

Check out our timeline for landmark dates in the interesting history of gambling in New Hampshire;

1933 – Betting on Horse Racing was approved in New Hampshire. These days it’s possible to enjoy simulcast betting on other states and worldwide at Racinos and online in New Hampshire. Charitable Gambling also introduced in 1933.
1964 – New Hampshire State Lottery begins, the first in the United States.
1971 – Greyhound racing was legalized in New Hampshire, although it has since declined and appears to have been halted for the time being.
2010 – New Hampshire’s 10% tax on gambling winnings introduced.
2012 – Last Live Horse Race took place in New Hampshire.
2014 – Several Bills introduced to State Legislature, none of which have yet made it into the State Legislature including;

  • Casino Legalization (including 6 large land-based casinos and a 5000-slot land-based casino).
  • Online Casino Legalization.
  • Changes to existing charitable gambling laws (still alive in the State Senate)
  • A Bill to include Poker as a Game of Skill

Spring 2019? – Given New Hampshire’s State Legislature tabling a debate on online sports betting in the Spring 2019 legislative session, it appears that fully legalized sports betting will soon be available to all the state’s residents, and maybe online casino legislation will come along for the legalization ride at the same time or shortly thereafter.

Visit our page on New Hampshire’s Online Sports Betting laws for reviews of the states best online sportsbook reviews

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