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New Hampshire Delays Online Casino Opening

New Hampshire is the first state to have passed an online gambling law that will allow intrastate online gambling. Their lottery’s expected take was falling consistently short, so the state voted to allow the lottery authority to offer online games to state residents. To deal with the roadblocks that the federal government has put into place against online gambling in the United States, all deposits are made in person at state lottery stations. This has a number of functions.

First, while it’s easy to see if a computer is contacting a website from inside the state or out of it, verifying that there is no signal relay is quite difficult. This means that it’s hard to check if the online gamblers are really New Hampshire state residents. It’s true that they need a physical address in order to register, but even that is possible to fake. It’s not quite as easy to fake walking into a shop and buying a ticket. Second, since the lottery is approved for credit card payments, credit cards will not deny the transactions. Third, cash transactions are possible. Fourth players will be limited to making deposits at times of day when lottery stations are open. Fifth, players will need to leave their house and go to another location in order to make a deposit. These last two will help keep some problem gamblers from making deposits in order to chase losses without interference from state government.

While the plan has been given the go-ahead, and the lottery operator is all ready to go, there was some criticism as to the lack of information flow from the lottery personnel to lawmakers, so there will be a one month delay. New Hampshire lottery executive director Charlie McIntyre said that “The Lottery is going to use the down time to educate state leaders about the new interactive game and its place in our portfolio of products.”

Governor John Lynch wanted the lottery to bring revenues up to $100 million each year, a sharp rise from the $63 million that New Hampshire has seen so far. Online casinos seem to be a good method for getting at least some of that rise in revenue. Unlike online poker sites, which depend upon very high volumes of traffic to keep play interesting on a social and competition level as well as to fill up tournaments, casino games are played directly against the house, so a smaller player base will not make players choose offshore casinos if there is an easier, legal option available.

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