Sports betting winners of bidding contest released

The New Hampshire Lottery confirmed fantasy sports giant DraftKings and technology provider Intralot were selected to offer sports betting services for the state. Here Gov. Chris Sununu, left, talks about New Hampshire’s new sports betting law in July at the New Hampshire Lottery headquarters, as Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the lottery, and Debra Douglas, who chairs the state lottery commission, looked on.

CONCORD — Fantasy sports betting giant DraftKings and computer technology leader Intralot have won the initial competition to provide sports-betting services in New Hampshire, with initial bets coming as soon as January.

The New Hampshire Lottery Commission announced that it has entered contract negotiations with DraftKings and Intralot after receiving proposals from more than a dozen competitors.

Executive Director Charles McIntyre said the Lottery Commission intends to finish its contract work with both companies by Nov. 20. The contracts then require the approval of the Executive Council.

Sports betting will be allowed through as many as 10 physical sports book locations and as many as five online sports books.

The sports-betting legislation signed by Gov. Chris Sununu in July creates a Division of Sports Wagering, allows for mobile wagering and prohibits any wagering on New Hampshire college teams or any college games taking place in the Granite State. Players must be 18 or older to make wagers.

The law also breaks down sports betting into three tiers: pre-game bets on a single event, in-game wagers, and all other types of bets such as proposition wager not on the outcome but a specific happening such as whether the quarterback will run for a touchdown.

Mobile outlets can provide all three. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will not be allowed to offer in-game betting, while the lottery outlets will not offer single-game or in-game betting options.

The commission released its scoring, showing that proposals by DraftKings scored the highest for both online and retail sports books, while Intralot received the highest score for the lottery channel product.

“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, the lottery’s marketing director. “We look forward to continuing the (contract) 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.”

Those using the online or mobile app to place a sports bet must be within the geographic boundaries of the state when the bet is placed.

Gov. Chris Sununu said he’s delighted the program is on track to be up and running in time for the NFL playoffs.

“The playoffs start in January. 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,” Sununu said in a statement.

DraftKings, through its Crown Gaming name, scored highest in the mobile and retail competitions while Intralot edged out DraftKings and three other bidders for the sports-betting business that will be done on lottery terminals.

Thirteen companies submitted offers.

“DraftKings is proud to be selected to offer mobile and retail sports betting in New Hampshire. 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,” a spokesman for DraftKings said.

”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.”

Among the competitors were Foxwoods Casino, which submitted a bid with the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, MGM Resorts casino, casino magnate William Hill and a group that included Churchill Downs, the venerable site of the Kentucky Derby.

DraftKings aggressively offered to the state the most lucrative arrangement among all the firms to get the highest score.

To be the exclusive mobile provider, DraftKings said it would give the state 51 percent of its gross gaming revenues. If the state were to chose three vendors, DraftKings would lower that share to 21 percent

For the retail business, DraftKings said it will give the state 40 percent of gross revenue for up to 10 retail sports books.

Intralot will provide New Hampshire with 19.25 percent of its gross revenue from sales at lottery terminals across the state.

Last week Indiana becoming the the seventh state to offer mobile sports betting, joining Iowa, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. Oregon, through its state lottery, may soon follow Indiana according to state officials there.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts have yet to approve sports betting.

“I’m not going to speak to the motives for why the Massachusetts Legislature does or doesn’t do anything down there, other than to say that their lack of action is our opportunity, and we’re not going to miss it,” Sununu said.

“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 they’re just going to have to play catch-up to compete.”

Nine cities will hold referendums during municipal elections on whether to allow sports books: Manchester, Berlin, Claremont, Concord, Dover, Laconia, Nashua, Rochester and Somersworth. Franklin has already voted in favor.

Voters in small towns will take up their own warrant articles at the next town meetings in March.

Thursday, November 14, 2019