New Hampshire Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in New Hampshire
The Gaming Regulatory Oversight Authority, a division of the New Hampshire Lottery Commission, oversees casino gambling in New Hampshire. This small New England state does have casinos, in addition to bingo and lotteries. However, players should not that gambling machines are not allowed in New Hampshire casinos. As a result, the games you’ll find in casinos can be limited.
History of Gambling in New Hampshire
Like many New England states, New Hampshire has strict rules in place to limit the games within a casinos. Up until 2015, video slots, video poker, and other mechanical gambling machines were illegal. This is about to change with the passage of a new bill, but even then, the growth of full casinos is going to be carefully managed with minimum and maximum limits in place.
New Hampshire currently has three casinos. They are not anywhere near the size and scope of casinos like the ones you’ll find in Vegas or Atlantic City. Instead, they are smaller and offer things like Bingo, Blackjack, Craps, Poker, and Roulette.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in New Hampshire
To gamble in New Hampshire casinos offering games of chance, players must be 18 years of age or older. Note that this age limit was set before slot machines were legalized. As casinos with slot machines opens, it is highly likely that the age restriction will also change.
New Hampshire’s Casino Gambling Outlook
In 2014, a bill to allow two casinos to add 5,000 slot machines reached the New Hampshire House of Representatives, but SB-113 was defeated in a very tight vote (173 nay to 172 yea). In March 2015, the bill was sent to the New Hampshire Senate, where it passed in a 13 to 11 vote. It was then sent to the House of Representatives on April 7th, where it finally won approval.
This bill will completely change the casino industry in New Hampshire. Only two casino licenses will be granted, and those who receive them must pay a $400,000 application fee and a 10-year license fee of $40 million for a class 2 license or $80 million for a class 1 license. Once a valid license is issued, a casino may add a specific number of slot machines to the mix of table games.
It will take time for New Hampshire’s casino industry to grow. In the future, however, if all goes well, online casino websites could be the next industry the state looks towards to improve state revenues.
Hampton Beach Casino
Hampton Beach Casino is one of two casinos near the Atlantic coast. The building was established in 1899, but gambling was not part of its history until 2014. Until that point, the building was best known for concerts, vaudeville acts, and arcade games. Casino games take place in the Aces & Eights Casino Room. Bingo is a popular game at this site, and families will also find plenty for kids with the neighboring water park, the video game arcade, and the indoor fun center that offers miniature golf in the building’s second floor.
Lakes Region Casino
Located in the central part of the state, just south of Lake Winnipesaukee, Lakes Region Casino is open five days per week. Hours depend on the day and number of patrons that attend the casino. On Wednesday and Thursday, the casino is typically open from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, the hours increase to noon to 1:00 a.m. Finally, Sunday hours are noon to 11:00 p.m. Look for table games like Craps and Roulette, and there is a poker room at Lakes Region Casino, too.
Ocean Gaming Casino
When you play at Ocean Gaming Casino, you’ll be happy to hear that 35 percent of the money you spend goes to local charities. Located in Hampton Beach, the casino is a short walk from the long, sandy beach and has ocean views from the on-site bar. Parking is free during the off-season (November to March), otherwise, expect to pay for a space. Games at Ocean Gaming Casino include Blackjack, Craps, Horse Betting, Money Wheel, Poker, and Roulette. In 2015, the casino is adding Bingo. Look for poker tournaments throughout the year. The casino accepts reservations for larger parties and is open from 11:00 a.m., with gambling beginning at 12:00 p.m., until 1:00 a.m.