Things in California may have stalled over the early part of 2017 but the rest of the country seems to have taken an interest . in . online poker like never before.

After Hawaii surprised us with a new bill, New Hampshire has jumped into the game and unexpectedly filed legislation aimed at legalizing online gambling.

A three-bill proposal filed by state Reps. Robert Fisher, Eric Schleien and Nick Zaricki looks to take a unique approach at legalizing iGaming.

What Exactly Will This Bill Accomplish?

HB 562 is a bit different from most online gambling legislative bills filed in the last few years. Where other states have sought to legalize and regulate online gambling, this bill simply exempts online gambling from prosecution under their criminal code.

This would effectively make it legal to play online poker in New Hampshire and an online poker site would be able to offer games legally to NH residents. However, that's as far as the bill goes.

The bill in no way regulates online gambling nor does it call for gambling regulations. Furthermore, iGaming companies will not have to apply for a license or pay taxes on earnings.

If this bill were to pass, companies such as PokerStars and 888poker would legally be able to offer online poker, effectively opening the floodgates to U.S. online poker players wanting to legally gamble online.

Bill Specifies it Will Harm Gaming Revenues in NH

A section of the bill that would seem like a guaranteed death knell is as follows:

"To the extent this bill legalizes a form of gambling, it may have an indeterminable impact on lottery and charitable gaming revenue. Lottery and charitable gaming revenue is credited to the lottery fund, with net revenues after Lottery Commission expenditures being credited to the state education trust fund." 

In layman's terms, legal online gambling based on this bill will negatively impact state lottery and charitable gaming revenue.

Outright stating this in the bill, while honest, seem especially odd and makes one wonder what the sponsors are hoping to accomplish with this bill.

Does This Bill Have a Shot at Passing?

It will be interesting to see what happens with this bill as it flies in the fact of standard iGaming legislation The bill would technically legalize online gambling but it would do nothing to protect local residents from unscrupulous sites.

What purpose this bill serves remains to be seen but, as it stands, it seems unlikely that it will pass.

Should the bill move forward, expect changes to the bill that would benefit the state. This is a story we will track as such a novel approach, if passed, could begin a new trend in iGaming legalization in the United States and may push discussions in California in a new direction.