Boston-based DraftKings’ fast-growing sports wagering operation is primed to move front and center into New Hampshire once sports betting begins there by the beginning of next year.
The New Hampshire Lottery, which will oversee sports betting under its Division of Sports Wagering, on Tuesday announced scoring summaries of private entities to take bets in the Granite State, which passed a sports betting bill in July.
Based on its high score — 810 out of 1,000 — in criteria that included hardware and software solutions, strength of sports betting services, experience, financial stability, integrity, and ethics, DraftKings, in conjunction with Crown Gaming Inc., garnered the top prize in both the mobile and retail operations in the state, with Intralot winning the lottery component.
DraftKings, which began and still operates in part as a daily fantasy sports company, already operates sports books on its mobile platform and inside casinos in a number of other states where sports betting is legal.
“Sports betting represents a major next step in the New Hampshire Lottery’s evolution, and given its significance, we are pleased with the overall quality of the proposals we received,” said Maura McCann, marketing director of New Hampshire Lottery, in a statement. “We look forward to continuing the RFP process and to ultimately implementing a sports betting system that supports continued revenue growth, while also incorporating all necessary safeguards and protections for our players and retailers.”
Contracts are expected to be finalized by the end of November.
In New Hampshire, DraftKings is developing new retail sportsbooks where bets can be placed in person. Next week, voters in nine New Hampshire cities, including Concord, Manchester, and Nashua, will vote on permitting retail sportsbook operations.
The mobile component of New Hampshire’s bill is far more bettor-friendly than in Rhode Island, the only other state in New England to legalize sports betting.
Adults with a smartphone who are physically over the New Hampshire border will be able to register with the DraftKings sports betting app and then place a bet from that app.
In Rhode Island, bettors have to come to one of the two casinos to activate their mobile sports betting app.
“DraftKings is proud to be selected to offer mobile and retail sports betting in New Hampshire,” DraftKings said in a statement. “We look forward to soon providing sports fans in the Granite State with our best-in-class mobile and online Sportsbook product, and welcoming them into our dynamic retail sportsbooks. DraftKings will continue to collaborate closely with the New Hampshire Lottery Commission towards our mutual goal of bringing fun, safe and responsible sports betting to New Hampshire.”
Massachusetts legislators filed sports betting bills last January, and while there has been some discussion on Beacon Hill about the bills, there is little progress to report about their enactment.
Last week, Governor Chris Sununu of New Hampshire called into a Boston sports radio station to promote his state’s ability to begin sports betting before the end of the NFL season, and possibly as soon as December.
“It’s always baffled me why Massachusetts put the brakes on this one,” Sununu said on WEEI. “We’re going gangbusters here. I know Rhode Island jumped into it, they’ve been doing very well with it. Massachusetts seems to be this black hole, so we’re just going to pick up the slack until Massachusetts figures out what to do. Until then, in the next few months you’re going to see it up here, and I think it’s going to be an awesome opportunity for us.”
Among the companies who were not selected by New Hampshire were DraftKings’ primary competitor, FanDuel, plus Foxwoods Casino, IGT/William Hill, and Churchill Downs.