New Hampshire Authorizes Historical Horse Racing In The State

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CONCORD, N.H. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Even though live horse races may be declining across the country, re-runs of old ones are making a comeback.

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu signed House Bill 626 into law on Tuesday, allowing pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing (HHR) in the state.

HHR is predicted to bring in over $6 million in its first year.

“For years, legislators have worked to add historic horse-racing to charitable gaming and have always come up short,” Sununu said in a statement. “I was happy to help bring this bill across the finish line with my signature, which will generate millions of dollars a year for N.H. non-profits.”

Currently, charities receive 35% of the profit from charitable gambling wagers at the 16 state-licensed casino sites across the state that have gambling.

The State of New Hampshire defined "historic horse racing" as:

(1) Any horse race whether running or harness, that was previously conducted at a licensed pari-mutuel facility;

(2) Concluded with official results; and

(3) Concluded without scratches, disqualifications, or dead-heat finishes.

(b) "Licensee" means any individual, association, partnership, joint-venture, corporation, or other organization or other entity which holds a game operator employer license under RSA 287-D.

(c) “Pari-mutuel method of wagering" means:

(1) A method of wagering in which those who wager on horses that finish in the position or positions for which wagers are taken share in the total amounts wagered, plus any amounts provided by a licensee, may include a nonrefundable contribution to serve as a seed or guarantee; and

(2) A totalizator or similar mechanical equipment calculates pari-mutuel pools and payouts associated with each winning wager.

II. In order to be eligible for a license to sell pari-mutuel pools on historic races, an applicant shall have been game operator employer licensed under RSA 287-D as of May 1, 2020 and still licensed as of the effective date of this section, provided such sales are within the enclosure of a facility at which the licensee holds its licensed activities under RSA 287-D, and that such facility is located within the city or town in which the licensee held its license on May 1, 2020. An application that is approved by the lottery commission, and a license that is granted shall not be permitted to be transferred or sold.

III. In accordance with the provisions of RSA 284:6-a, wagering on historic horse races may take place on electronic gaming devices provided that:

(a) All wagers use the pari-mutuel method of wagering.

(b) A licensee at all times maintains at least 2 terminals offering the same type of wager on all historic horse races.

(c) The terminal makes available true and accurate past performance information on each historic horse race prior to the patron making his or her selection.

(d) The terminal shall display a replay of each race, or a portion thereof, whether digital, animated, or by way of a video recording, and the official results of each race. The identity of each race shall be revealed to the patron after the patron has placed his or her wager.

(e) The outcome of each wager is based solely on the outcome of the historic horse race or races; no random elements may determine the outcome of the patron's wager. 

(f) The terminals have been tested by an independent testing laboratory, approved by the commission, to ensure integrity and proper working order.

(g) Each terminal makes available pari-mutuel wagering pool amounts that the patron may receive for a winning wager.

(h) A terminal shall not accept a wager in excess of $25.

(i) Each licensee shall submit a responsible gaming plan to the lottery commission for review and approval prior to activating any historic horse race terminal, and every year thereafter. Such plan shall include identification of postings and materials related to problem gaming to be made available to patrons expressing concerns about problem gaming, house imposed player limits, and self-exclusion plans.

The key difference between traditional games and HHR is that the results of these games are not random.

On the slot machine, there will typically be a button that says "Race Info." Pressing that button will display the date and location of the previously run races that will determine the results. Betters will then try to predict the order in which the horse finished the race.

New Hampshire is the sixth state to legalize HHR.

WBZ NewsRadio's Matt Shearer (@MattWBZ) reports:

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