Can You Play Online Poker in New Hampshire?
No, you cannot play online poker for real money in New Hampshire. The state is yet to legalize and regulate online poker and there are no indications that legislators plan to do this anytime soon. This leaves poker enthusiasts in the state with very limited options as far as playing poker online is concerned.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in New Hampshire?
Like many other US states, the law banning online poker in New Hampshire isn’t very explicit. Generally, gambling is legal in the state, but the laws governing gambling activities are rather strict. For instance, casino operators are mandated to donate a percentage of their profits to charity.
Section 647.2 and 248.1 of New Hampshire Revised Statutes contain all laws and regulations regarding gambling in the state. These statutes do not explicitly ban online poker but don’t say you can play it either. This makes New Hampshire online poker a bit of a legal gray area, with the rules subtly implying that it isn’t allowed.
Since no legally sanctioned operator provides online poker in New Hampshire, the only alternative for poker fans to explore is to play on (risky) offshore gambling sites. These are sites with international licenses not subject to local regulations that prohibit online poker. So far, no resident of the state has been sanctioned for playing poker on offshore sites.
But the benefit of these sites is also their biggest drawback. Online poker sites are not under the regulation of US authorities, which means they are not held to the same standards of fair play as locally-regulated sites. Because of this, MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing on these sites. Payouts are not guaranteed, and there are no legal measures to protect players from fraudulent activities.
There is a risk of losing your money when you play poker on these unregulated sites, either because there are cheaters at your table or because of a payout issue. You’re better off avoiding them.
Potential New Hampshire Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in New Hampshire for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in NH will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in NH, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker New Hampshire
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker NH will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
PokerStars New Hampshire
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, NH is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think New Hampshire would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
WSOP New Hampshire
The third NH poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.