Sports betting will be back on the Nashua ballot this November, two years after residents rejected it.
“If they turn it down again, their voice is clear,” Alderman Tom Lopez said Tuesday as aldermen unanimously voted to give voters a second chance.
Lopez said he believes some voters did not fully understand the issue in 2019.
The state has already legalized sports betting. In July 2019, Gov. Chris Sununu signed into law House Bill 480 to permit sports wagering in the Granite State. However, sports book operations may operate only in municipalities that have voted to allow sports betting.
“I think we are missing out on a lot of opportunities,” Alderwoman Patricia Klee said.
She agreed many Nashua voters did not fully comprehend what they were voting for in 2019.
“I feel this is important to get on the ballot,” Alderman Mike O’Brien said.
He said facilities such as the Boston Billiard Club and Casino and the The River Casino and Sports Bar contribute a significant amount of money to charities in the community.
Jim Rafferty, general manager at The River, said earlier that Nashua has led the way in Keno, and could also lead the way in sports betting. Sports betting would combine well with charitable gaming, he said.
Sports betting proceeds are contributed to the state’s education fund.
Although the proceeds are not going directly to local charities, O’Brien said sports betting will attract more patrons into the doors of Boston Billiard and The River, some of whom will play a game of chance and ultimately contribute to charitable gaming as well.
“This is just putting it on the ballot,” Alderman Ernest Jette said Tuesday.
Lopez agreed, saying it also gives additional time to educate the public about the initiative.
There are three ways to place sports bets in New Hampshire — at sports book locations around the state, at select lottery vendors and via mobile in New Hampshire with proper age verification.
Some communities that have approved sports betting retail locations in New Hampshire include Manchester, Hudson, Pelham, Salem, Seabrook, Derry, Belmont, Hampton, Newmarket, Belmont and Hinsdale.
Players must be 18 or older to place a bet.