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New Hampshire Gambling
Gambling laws differ per state, so before you decide to engage in any wagering games, make sure that you know what you’re getting into. It is always best to keep abreast of State Gambling laws, as well as new developments, especially when you’re traveling to a different state and are planning to play a few games. In this article, you will get a glimpse of the different regulations involved when gambling or playing games of chance in the state of New Hampshire.
Today, licensed gambling events in New Hampshire include horse and dog racing, boxing and wrestling commissions, shows, open-air meetings, billiards, bowling alleys, raffles, manufacturing of gambling machines and certain games of chance.
According to state law, “gambling” refers to “risking something of value upon a future contingent event not under one’s control or influence, upon an agreement or understand that something of value will be received in the event of a certain outcome.” Meanwhile, “games of chance” are games that involve gambling as the defined by RSA 647:2, II, or any lottery prohibited by RSA 647:1. These do not include the use of slot machines or other devices that are similar to the slot machine.
Violations and offenses, according to state law, include conducting a lottery “knowingly and lawfully.” This includes disposing of property “in any way whereby the payment for such property is, in whole or in part, induced y the hope of gain by luck or chance.” Selling, or possession for the purposing of selling, a lottery ticket is also considered a misdemeanor. Another misdemeanor is charged if the person “conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of a business and such person knowingly and lawfully permits gambling on the premises of the business.”
As for gambling activities, offenses include permitting any gambling activity to take place, which can be under the person’s control; gambling or loaning of money or property for the purpose of helping another person to gamble; and possession of a gambling machine. However, possession of an antique gambling machine, which is equipment that is at least 25 years old and is maintained for collection purposes and not for gambling, is allowed.
A class B felony is charged to a person who “conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of a business” and has either earned a gross revenue of $2000 in a single day, or has been or has remained in operation for 10 days, or has accepted or accepts wagers over $5,000 during a 30-day period for future events.
As for bingo games, only bona fide members of certain charitable organizations are allowed to operate bingo events. However, bona fide members that are below 18 years of age are still not allowed by law to conduct such events. Before conducting such an event, there are several things that an organization must accomplish. First, a documentation of their federal income tax should be provided. They should also be able to establish the purpose of the gambling event. Registration with the secretary of the state is also required, as well as with the director of charitable trusts (if required by RSA 7:19-32). Moreover, the said organization should also maintain a roster of their bona fide members.
Such charitable organizations should not include auxiliary units, committees, or other units that desire to operate for the sole objective of conducting games of chance.
If all the bona fide members of the organization are disabled, then a representative may conduct the event on their behalf. However, the representative shall be subject to specific provisions. Operators in a bingo game are not allowed to be paid. This includes money or other objects of value. However, these operators may be reimbursed for their expenses, provided that these expenses do not exceed $25 per game day, and that these expenses are itemized.
Other games that are usually conducted by organizations in New Hampshire are ice-out contests. This game involves placing a marker in a frozen lake, and wagers are made according to the estimated day and time that the marker will fall through the ice. The winner gets to go home with half of the proceeds.
Meanwhile, selling of Lucky 7 tickets are not allowed without the necessary valid lucky 7 license. On the other hand, the tri-state lotto compact was drawn up for the operation of tri-state lotto, for the main purpose of enhancing revenue for the participating states. Half of the sales of the tickets will go to the common prize pool.
Other related news to New Hampshire gambling include the move by Rep. Edmond Gionet, Congressman of New Hampshire, to build a North Country casino to help provide jobs to the locals as well as stabilize the state’s economy. The Republican representative from Lincoln has already filed a legislation allowing the construction of a privately-owned White Mountain Resort and Casino. According to the legislation, the state lottery commission will be entitled to 20 percent of the casino’s revenues. As estimated by Sen. John Gallus, building such a structure will provide jobs for 2,000 people, while the casino’s area will amount to about 100,000 square feet.
More new developments have also been made in the area of lottery. Soon, it will not be only the state lottery that will enjoy attention from lottery players, as a New Hampshire lottery game was recently approved by the House of Representatives, with a vote of 196-154. The said proposal was backed by Gov. John Lynch, House Speaker Douglas Scamman, and House Democratic Leader Jim Craig. The said proposal included increasing the price of the lottery scratch tickets from $10 to $20, which will result in an additional $4.8 million for the coming couple of years.
Such are the developments and provisions one should keep in mind when gambling or engaging in games of chance in New Hampshire. It is best to always keep updated in these developments so that you will be aware of your rights and privileges when engaging in such activities.
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