New Hampshire legislators have dusted off the state’s online gambling bill after sitting idly in Congress for months.
The last time that everybody heard of HB 562-FN was back in August when it was tossed in an unidentified sub-committee. Everyone thought the bill was already dead until it surprisingly resurfaced in the legislature.
HB 562-FN, sponsored by Reps. Nick Zaricki, Eric Schleien, and Robert Fisher, was scheduled to be taken up during the executive session on October 25.
The bill is a stub, seeking only to insert a new subparagraph exempting “gambling done over an internet connection on a website on the internet” from the state’s list of illegal gambling offenses.
It also concedes that the state’s Department of Justice “to date has neither investigated nor prosecuted online gaming offenses and therefore does not expect this bill to have any impact on expenditures.”
Many pundits, however, speculate that the reason behind the bill’s slow progress is to give way to yet another important gambling bill, which is the legalization of online lottery.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bill in July that seeks to fund full-day kindergarten with revenues from the introduction of Keno.
It is possible that HB 562-FN will be merged with the online lottery bill since the measure was brief and needs some tweaking for it to stand alone. After all, the authors concede that allowing online gambling “may have an indeterminable impact on lottery and charitable gaming revenue.”
In the off chance that HB 562-FN makes the grade in the Live Free or Die state, its provisions would take effect January 1, 2018.