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Sports betting simplified
Sports betting is legal in Vermont, but the state has not launched online sportsbooks. Vermont sports betting Bill H127 passed through the House before the Senate made a couple of amendments and also passed it. After the House approved those changes, Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill. Regulators in the state will now work toward getting the industry ready for launch and hope to get sportsbooks online before the 2023-2024 NFL playoffs.
State of Vermont Sports Betting Overview
The exact date for launch is a little unclear at this time, but a timeline laid out in the bill states January 2024 as the likely month. However, regulators have already completed draft regulations for Vermont sports betting and could attempt to launch sometime in Q4 of 2023.
Bill H127 authorizes up to six online Vermont sports betting apps offering online sports betting promos. Still, the total number will depend on how many contracts the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery can secure with operators. Lawmakers have indicated they expect two or three. Each operator would pay $500,000 for a Vermont sports betting license, followed by a fee that decreases per operator added annually over the next three years. The bill states that the state’s minimum revenue-sharing rate will be 20%.
In-person sports betting would remain illegal, with the state lacking the physical infrastructure to host brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
The minimum age to bet in Vermont will be 21, and betting on college sports is allowed under the bill.
Right now, there are no legal betting options in Vermont. The closest option would be any upstate New York casinos, crossing the Canadian border into Quebec, going to New Hampshire, and downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
Should the state legalize betting after studying other states, the market should look largely like others around the US. That means standard bet types and restrictions, including amateur sports events.
Vermont could ban bettors from wagering on in-state college teams since there’s likely just one school that would be affected. Since most states only allow betting on Division I colleges, Vermont could block betting on the University of Vermont Catamounts.
State of Vermont Sports Betting Timeline
February 2023: A sports betting proposal begins to move through the statehouse. The bill (H. 127), introduced by Rep. Matthew Birong, would authorize between two to six Vermont sports betting apps.
HB 127 would also move the legal age for daily fantasy sports users from 18 to 21.
February 17, 2023: Bill H127 cleared its first committee in a 9-3 vote by The House Committee on Government Operations and Military Affairs, sending it to the next of at least four more committee stops before a House floor vote.
March 24, 2023: A Vermont sports betting bill cleared a legislative chamber for the first time, passing in the House. Backed by the governor, the bill will now be read in the state Senate.
May 2, 2023: Bill H127 is on the Senate agenda for a final vote after a favorable report from the Senate Committee on Appropriations and passing the House.
May 4, 2023: Bill H127 passes in the Senate, meaning the state is on the precipice of legalizing online sports betting pending another approval of the amendments by the House and a signature from the governor.
June 14, 2023: After the House approved amendments to Bill H127 by the Senate, Gov. Phil Scott signed the bill into law.
June 27, 2023: Vermont regulators have already completed a draft of rules governing sports betting in the state and could launch online sportsbooks ahead of schedule. Regulators hope to get sportsbooks online before the 2023-2024 NFL playoffs.
October 2021: The study on the sports-betting industry in the US is completed and submitted. It includes information on potential revenue and taxation.
June 8, 2021: Vermont passes HB 313, an act relating to amendments to alcoholic beverage laws that also requires a study on the sports betting industry to be done by October 15, 2021.
February 11, 2021: Sen. Dick Spears introduces SB 77, which proposes legalizing sports betting under the Department of Liquor and Lottery's authority and allowing up to six sportsbooks to operate in the state. The bill is read and referred to Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs but has not progressed.