New Hampshire Bills Would Allow Online Poker, Increase Stakes of Live Games

3 min read

New Hampshire’s Senate moved two bills forward that, if passed by its House, will affect poker players. One would allow online poker rooms to set up shop in the Granite State, the other would increase stakes in its live poker rooms.

Chaser's Poker Room
New Hampshire’s poker rooms, like Chaser’s, may face online competition if a bill is passed. (Image: Upswing Poker)

Online gambling bill includes poker

Its Senate moved forward SB104 by the slimmest margins last week — 12 to 11. It will now be considered by its 400 members of its House of Representatives who will hold more hearings before deciding to put it to vote.

If approved, the bill will award up to five online casino licenses. They will be allowed to spread blackjack, slots, baccarat, roulette, craps, and “other style games” found in a live casino, as well as poker, starting in 2024.

New Hampshire has allowed online sportsbooks since 2019.

While it’s a lock that online casinos will open if SB104 becomes law, it’s not guaranteed that online poker rooms will be offered despite the fact that New Hampshire has a healthy live poker scene. The reason: New Hampshire’s small population makes it difficult for the online casinos to justify offering online poker.

New Hampshire officials can increase the odds poker sites will open there by joining the the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), which would allow the sites to share player pool’s with member states.

A spokesperson for its Lottery Commission told CardsChat that officials “won’t decide on MSIGA until (they) let the legislative process in New Hampshire run its course.”

If officials do not decide to try to become the fifth member of MSIGA and join Michigan, New Jersey, Nevada, and Delaware in the pact, it could join West Virginia and Connecticut as the only two states that allow online poker, but do not have any rooms.

Second bill affects live poker

A bill that would raise buy-in limits also made it through the Senate, but players in the many casinos that operate for charity most likely won’t notice the changes since most of the poker rooms have worked around the limited buy-ins and wagers for years.

If passed, SB120 would allow the rooms to spread larger buy-in tournaments. Part of the text reads:

  • Buy-in and re-buy limits in tournaments will increase from $150 and $250/game to $2,500/game. 
  • The bet limit will increase from $10/wager to $50/wager. 
  • Table stakes limits will increase from $150 to $2,500. 

New Hampshire has 13 poker rooms located in casinos that exist to fund charities in the state. The stakes of both how much can be wagered on the games, as well as poker, has been increased by lawmakers several times over the past three decades. This bill will most likely be passed by the House.

The online bill will also most likely pass, but is seeing some pushback because lawmakers are worried its casinos will lose business, which would hurt the organizations that receiving funding from them.

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