New Hampshire sports betting reported a further decline for the second straight month as May handle slid a further 9.3% from April’s 16.3% dip. The two disappointing months followed a glorious March Madness-filled month which had brought in $55.8 million for the state.
According to figures released by New Hampshire Lottery, the state’s sportsbooks reported $42.4 million in May handle, shrinking 9.3% from April’s $46.7 million.
New Hampshire sports betting handle had seen the best month in January when the handle reached $59.8 million. February saw a dip before New Hampshire sports betting rebounded in March.
Why So Many Ups and Downs?
The up-and-down in monthly sports betting handle is part of the game and is not limited to New Hampshire. Nearly 10 states have reported their monthly handles, with half of those witnessing declines month-over-month.
Since after March, US sports betting has seen modest handles, mostly due to the lack of sporting options. In fact, the sports calendar determines the activity and intensity of sports betting in the country.
NFL betting and college football betting attract a huge number of bettors in the winter and fall. Once the Super Bowl ends, college basketball kicks off in March. The outgoing NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament – or more commonly known as March Madness – had swelled New Hampshire sports betting handle to $55.8 million.
But there was not much for New Hampshire bettors – or for US bettors in general – to wager on since the NCAA concluded in early April. While we’re going through what can be called a spring and summer slump, September is the best hope to return the peak vigor with the return of the NFL.
New Hampshire sports betting revenue fell almost proportionally. The gross gaming revenue was $3.12 million, representing a decline of 11.1% from April’s $3.30 million. The hold rate was 7.36% in May.
Similarly, the Granite State’s revenue share diminished to $1.43 million in May, contracting 3.2% from April’s $1.48 million.
Mobile sports handle accounted for 78.5% of the total May handle. DraftKings – the only online betting option in the state – reported $33.27 million for the month.
Why Is DraftKings Only Online Option in New Hampshire?
New Hampshire launched mobile betting following a contract with DraftKings, allowing the Boston-based operator a monopoly to run online operations in the state. In exchange, DraftKings shares half of its revenue with the state.
In addition, there are two retail sportsbooks in New Hampshire as well.
Last month, Gov. Chris Sununu said he’s proud that the system the state they have designed has enabled the Granite State to become the premier destination for sports betting in New England.
But critics believe the monopolistic sports betting systems have paralyzed the growth of the market. They cite DC sports betting and New Hampshire sports betting lags behind those open markets which allow a competitive environment through multiple operators.
New York has recently legalized a sports betting structure similar to DC and New Hampshire, which experts believe should have been designed after the New Jersey model.
Another New England State to Launch Sports Betting
Another New England state will soon launch sports betting after the Connecticut legislature recently passed a sports betting bill, which the governor signed last month.
When the US Department of the Interior will approve the new gaming pact, Connecticut will become the third New England state with regulated sports betting. Rhode Island and New Hampshire are the other two.
Connecticut sports betting could launch as soon as the 2021 football season.
In May, Gov. Ned Lamont signed into law a bill that legalized online sports betting, fantasy sports, and other forms of digital gaming. The bill formalized agreements made by Lamont with Connecticut’s two gaming tribes – Mashantucket and Mohegan – in March.
Under the law, any deal concerning the Indian tribes must receive federal approval.