New Englanders will have twice as many sports betting options before the year is out.
On Dec. 30, New Hampshire will join Rhode Island as the second state in the region to offer legal sports wagering when it launches its mobile betting product.
Ben Vihstadt, communications director for Governor Chris Sununu, and DraftKings confirmed the date on Monday.
Anyone over age 21 who is physically in New Hampshire and has downloaded the DraftKings app for the state onto a phone will be able to place a bet on professional sports next Monday.
The launch is ahead of schedule: In the fall, the state expressed hope things could be operational by January or February.
In October, Sununu expressed his desire to get in on the action before the end of the Patriots’ season.
“The playoffs start in January,” Sununu said. “I’m assuming the Patriots are going to the Super Bowl because I’m a diehard fan, but regardless of that, I really want to be betting on Tom Brady before the season’s done.”
New Hampshire municipalities have yet to approve retail outlets for sports betting but in the fall, the New Hampshire Lottery approved mobile licenses to Boston-based DraftKings.
On Monday, DraftKings announced it would be going public and merging with SBTech.
New Hampshire expects to reap $7 million to $10 million annually in revenues, earmarked for its education fund, from sports betting. The state’s lottery products generated adjusted gross revenues of $391 million last fiscal year.
Sports betting began at Rhode Island’s two casinos in November 2018. Mobile sports betting began in Rhode Island in the fall, but the cumbersome system requires bettors to drive to a casino to authorize their online accounts.
New Hampshire’s mobile system is simpler, and similar to New Jersey’s successful model.
Massachusetts currently has several sports betting bills, including one filed by Governor Charlie Baker last January, sitting in joint committees. The mobile betting component is similar to what New Jersey has and New Hampshire will have.
Until the Massachusetts Legislature takes action, sports bettors from Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine can drive to New Hampshire to place legal bets.
“There’s a huge market in Massachusetts for this,” Sununu said. “We have no doubt people are going to be coming over the border in droves.
“We’re going to capture a good part of this market, we’re going to have one of the best products, if not the best product in the country, and [Massachusetts is] just going to have to play catch-up to compete.”
Brandon Chase contributed to this report. Michael Silverman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MikeSilvermanBB.