On Tuesday, the Derry Town Council will meet to decide in which zones of the town should sport betting be permitted.
The Town Council will discuss an amendment to the town’s zoning ordinance, which permits sports betting in General Commercial, General Commercial IV, and Industrial IV districts.
After the Town Council discusses the amendment, a public hearing will be held on January 21, in which the general public will be allowed to voice their opinions on the subject. After this, the Council will vote on it.
In Derry, zones need to list all the permitted uses and not just the prohibited ones. Thus, it became necessary to mention the districts in which sports betting will be allowed.
New Hampshire has legalized sports betting on December 30. The law passed by the New Hampshire legislature allows only ten retail locations and five mobile platforms for sports betting in the state.
Town Councillor Brian Chirichiello informed the Town Council beforehand that sports betting could be legalized in the state. So in September, even before the law was enacted, the Town Council asked the planning board, planning department staff, and the economic development office to prepare a list of zones suitable for setting up a sports betting facility. The planning board submitted the report on December 18.
Explaining the Town Council’s rationale behind trying to set up a sports betting facility, Town Councillor Jim Morgan said,
I think it’s good that we’re looking at ways to bring in revenue that doesn’t fall on the backs of taxpayers.
Even after showing alacrity in the matter, Derry has fallen behind cities like Manchester, Laconia, Somersworth, Claremont, and Berlin. Residents of these five cities have already voted in favor of legalizing sports betting in recent municipal elections. In Derry, voters will vote on 10 March for approving sports betting facilities in their respective districts.
Derry wishes to catch-up with the other towns and cities by deciding the venues for sports betting facilities in advance.