New Hampshire Online Poker | New Hampshire Poker Rooms
If you’re a New Hampshire resident, chances are you’ve been playing online poker quite happily for some time. That was until the Department of Justice decided to crack down on the industry’s five biggest operators in April 2011. Although there are still New Hampshire online poker sites available for you, any ordinary citizen would naturally be concerned about the legality of the game in their state.
As with many areas of America, the rules governing New Hampshire online poker are ambiguous. There are no laws on the books that specifically mention poker, although it is generally considered to fall under the umbrella of gambling.
“A person is guilty of a misdemeanor if such person knowingly and unlawfully gambles,” reads the edict, with gambling defined as, “to risk something of value upon a future contingent event not under one's control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that something of value will be received in the event of a certain outcome.”
Eagle-eyed poker players will note reference to chance in that ruling. It’s the contention of almost every player that poker is a game of skill, which involves only an element of chance. Whether or not New Hampshire courts would accept that as an argument has never been tested. No online poker New Hampshire citizens have ever been arrested for playing poker.
Online Poker is not even hinted at in legislation. Many states have old laws prohibiting bets being placed by wire or telephone, which eager prosecutors sometimes repurpose for use against online poker players, but there are no such laws in New Hampshire.
You might think that this leaves you free to enjoy New Hampshire online poker whenever you like, but as the issue has never been raised in the courts, its difficult to say. Players could potentially be tried under bricks-and-mortar gambling laws, but others would argue that as the poker sites are based off-shore, state rules do not apply. At any rate, it seems like there’s currently no drive to hunt down online poker New Hampshire players.
In fact, the state is generally receptive to small stakes recreational gambling. It does not allow casinos of any kind to operate within their border, but will permit small stakes games at registered locations, so long as a portion of the profits go to charity. There are four racetracks in the New Hampshire that regularly run $1/$2 poker games.
A bill was floated that would, among other things, have raised the limits on these games, but it is currently stalled and will not be dragged up again until 2012.