New Hampshire Online Poker Law
Despite only having around 1.3 million residents, New Hampshire kicked everyone’s behinds in terms of percentage of players participating in online poker between during a six-month period in 2009-2010.
The study, completed by PokerScout, a site that’s been measuring online-poker-playing stats since 2006, says with almost one percent of New Hampshire’s population playing online poker during this time, it tops the rest the states in the country.
Nevada was slightly behind, but it just goes to show how hard it is to figure out online poker popularity in the United States. After Nevada, Alaska comes in third, with North Dakota right behind. Hmm, online poker is popular in states and countries with cold, snowy winters? Interesting.
Still, online poker legalization has experienced no push by lawmakers in New Hampshire. In 2013, a casino expansion bill that would’ve brought slots and table games failed to reach vote, and lost in that shuffle was a bill that would’ve raised limits and allowed no-limit poker and fully legalized home games. That bill didn’t make it out of committee.
New Hampshire has several live poker rooms, and, as the PokerScout study confirmed, a fairly robust poker community. The Poker Players Alliance (PPA) has a decent membership base and even helped write the poker bill that got lost in the casino-expansion debate.
One of the most difficult facets confounding online poker legalization in the United States is making elected officials knowledgeable about the online poker industry. Not only has the PPA and the American Gaming Association dropped the ball doing this, a good portion of elected officials simply aren’t interested in online poker.
Although about one percent of New Hampshire citizens played online poker regularly, one-percent is hardly enough people to worry about re-election. A major grassroots effort would do wonders pushing online poker legalization. Online poker players have an ally in the Governor, who pushed for table-game expansion, and even the lawmakers who voted against the expansion.
These lawmakers showed a willingness to bend during the casino debate, and they were disappointed when several sticking points within the casino bill were not addressed. The gambling morality debate will not play a major role in online poker legalization in New Hampshire.
When Can I Play Online Poker in New Hampshire?
Although there are no pending online poker bills or even any significant debate, New Hampshire online poker players should have a least bit of optimism that they will eventually be able to access online poker in their home state. Its neighbors Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont are also heading down the highway that will lead to online poker legalization, and it only seems logical that with a strong grassroots push, as well as an industry assault, an online poker bill will find its way to the governor’s desk by 2017.