Vermont Legal Sports Betting Targets 2024 Launch, House Bill Heads to Governor’s Desk
A potential legal Vermont sports betting market has passed its penultimate hurdle. On Tuesday, legislators in the Vermont House of Representatives gave the final approval to House Bill 127, which aims to see up to six online operators licensed to offer online sports betting in the Green Mountain State.
It now needs to be signed into law by Governor Phil Scott, who has previously affirmed his support.
“It’s already being done here in the state. We just need to find a path forward to provide the protections necessary to make it viable for us and Vermonters,” Scott told Vermont local news WCAX3 in January.
Experts employed by the state expect a legal market in Vermont to bring in between $2 million and $10 million in revenue in its first year.
When Governor Scott signs off on the bill, Vermont will become the 39th state to have legal sports betting in some form. The last state to do so was Kentucky, in March 2023.
Many of the Northeastern states surrounding Vermont have already legalized sports betting, leading thousands of Vermonters to head across state lines and place sports wagers. This is depriving the state of income it could easily tap into.
“Because Vermont doesn’t legalize online sports betting, when they’re in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York, they (bettors) are partaking in that. The data suggests there are thousands of Vermonters participating in this,” said Vermont Liquor and Lottery Commissioner Wendy Knight.
It is her very department that will soon be charged with implementing the regulatory framework for such a market in Vermont.
The requirements process will be finalized in July. Bids will be accepted from August, and winners notified by September. If all goes to plan, regulators are looking to launch Vermont online sports betting by January 2024.
The new law will allow six operators to apply for licenses in the state, and any applicant will have to work with the Vermont Lottery.
Each license will cost between $320,000 and $412,000 per year, depending on how many licenses are issued. Each operator can negotiate its own terms in part. But they are required to offer at least 20% of gross gaming revenue to Vermont state coffers.
The first $250,000 of taxes received will go to Vermont’s own in-state problem gambling help initiatives. After that, revenues will fund the operational cost of regulating the market.
Nearly all professional sports in the US will be eligible for bets from the get-go, and the same goes for college sports. In-state college teams won’t be available to wager on from Vermont, but the state isn’t exactly known for its college sports teams.
If the Green Mountain State’s Liquor and Lottery department can get a legal market running by January 2024, they will have been among the speediest in the country. Six to eight months has been the typical time frame for arranging a newly legal market among states that have done so in the past five years.