NH

New Hampshire

Moderate

The State of New Hampshire makes clear in its statutes that, ‘Unlawful,’ wagering would apply to any form of wagering that is not specifically authorized by law. Due to the fact that online gambling is not specifically authorized by the law, the obvious conclusion is that it would constitute unlawful wagering.  

There are penalties in the state for players and operators alike with the penalties being much more significant for operators if it is a major operation:

"647:2 Gambling. –

I. A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully:

  • Permits gambling in any place under the person's control.
  • Gambles, or loans money or any thing of value for the purpose of aiding another to gamble.
  • Possesses a gambling machine.

I-a. (a) A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of a business and such person knowingly and unlawfully permits gambling on the premises of the business.

(b) A person is guilty of a class B felony if such person conducts, finances, manages, supervises, directs, or owns all or part of a business and such person knowingly and unlawfully conducts, finances, manages, supervises, or directs any gambling activity on the business premises which does any of the following:

  1. Has had gross revenue of $2,000 in any single day.
  2. Has been or remains in substantially continuous operation for a period in excess of 10 days.
  3. Accepts wagers exceeding $5,000 during any 30 day period on future contingent events."

Obviously, New Hampshire is not a state in which one would want to run an unauthorized gambling site or allow the operation of same at one’s abode or place of business.

The state does not specify the category of Misdemeanor (Class A or B) for merely placing unlawful wagers, however, one would speculate that it would be the lesser Class B. If it is Class B, then that can result in a fine of up to $1,200 with no possibility of jail time. A Class A Misdemeanor, on the other hand, can result in up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Class B felonies, which would apply to operators, call for a MINIMUM of 3.5 years in prison with the possibility of facing up to seven years. These felonies may also result in fines of up to $2,000.

New Hampshire has arrested people in the past for unauthorized gambling operations, here is one such story from 2014 involving seven unauthorized video poker devices over three locations.

However, we can find no instance of an individual player being arrested for merely playing online, and in fact, it does not appear as though the players involved in the video poker machine bust linked above faced any charges.

While nobody appears to having ever been arrested for unlawful gambling as a mere player, it cannot be ignored that the law technically prescribes a penalty for doing such. As a result, New Hampshire must be considered at least a somewhat restrictive state. The most likely penalty, even though we doubt any charges would ever be brought against a mere player, is a Class B Misdemeanor which could theoretically result in a fine but no jail time. Therefore, we will consider New Hampshire to be a moderately restrictive state.

FINAL RANKING: Moderate-11

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