BERLIN — Voters have already said “yes” to Keno in Berlin and following a recent action by the City Council, they will have a say on whether sports betting will be welcome, too.
Following a Sept. 3 work session which was attended by Charlie McIntyre, the executive director of the NH Lottery, the City Council decided to place a question on the Nov. 5 municipal ballot that will ask “shall we allow the operation of sports book retail locations within the City.”
A public hearing on the measure has been scheduled for Oct. 7.
A bill permitting sports wagering in New Hampshire – House Bill 480 relative to sports betting – was signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Chris Sununu.
The law requires communities that want to host sports betting to approve any retail betting venue.
No more than 10 sports book retail locations, and no more than five mobile sports wagering agents, can be in operation at any given time. HB480 prohibits wagering on New Hampshire college teams or any college games taking place in the state and requires that players must be 18 or older to place bets.
According to minutes from the City Council’s work session, McIntyre assured members that the U.S. Supreme Court has settled the question of whether sports betting is legal.
He said the NH Lottery is the regulator and that there is a bid out for sports betting partners “which will come with proposals and they will identify locations that are suitable.”
Should voters agree to have sports betting in the city, Berlin would become available as a potential location for it.
McIntyre said the Lottery would determine which regions would host sports betting, adding that if Berlin was chosen, any operator that intends to do business there would be subject to the municipal business licensing process.
Berlin voters approved Keno in November 2017. Keno can now be played at more than 160 bars and restaurants in the state, the Lottery said.