How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ely Your Own Question
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 102601
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Ely is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Is online poker legal in New Hampshire?

This answer was rated:

Is online poker legal in New Hampshire?
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

The answer is... maybe. Allow me to explain.

There are two levels of law that apply here - federal and state.

Federal law used to see online poker as a violation of the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 (aka Wire Act) which is a law that has very broad verbiage and was originally interpreted by the authorities and the Courts to include online poker. Multiple individuals were prosecuted federally for online gambling, including online poker. In December 2012, the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel clarified its position regarding the Wire Act. The DOJ concluded that the Wire Act only applies to sports betting. This means that under federal law - at least for now - online poker is lawful. I would not even call it lawful. More like tolerated.

NH law is also vague.

In NH, gambling is: "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" (Section 647:2(II(d))).

It's a misdemeanor if someone "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" (Section 647:2(I-a)). However, if that gambling generates more than $2,000 in a day, operates for more than 10 days or takes in over $5,000 in wagers over a 30 day period, the charge is a felony.

Whether "online poker" is part of this definition is unclear. This is very much a case of technology moving faster than the law.

As such, the law is: tolerated under federal, ambiguous under state. It is still a risk, because at any time, NH authorities may decide to prosecute. Although they are more likely to pursue the site owners than the players, the risk is still there.

Therefore, it is not a good idea to engage in this activity, and if one does, it may be perhaps best to do so with a site that is reputable but hosts its servers outside of the USA.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

Please note: I aim to give you genuine information and not necessarily to tell you only what you wish to hear. Please, rate me on the quality of my information and do not punish me for my honesty. I understand that hearing things less than optimal is not easy, and I empathize.

Gentle Reminder: Please use the REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces and then submit, as this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects poorly on me, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. (You may always ask follow ups at no charge after rating.)
Ely and 2 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you