Vermont Approves Sports Betting Bill

Vermont is poised to join the ranks of states legalizing sports betting after the VT sports betting bill (H.127) received legislative approval on Tuesday. The bill, which passed the House on a voice vote following the Senate’s agreement to several modifications last week, now proceeds to Governor Phil Scott’s desk for his expected signature.

Online Sports Betting Apps Anticipated for 2024

The bill exclusively authorizes online sports betting, permitting the operation of two to six apps. The ultimate number of online platforms hinges on revenue-sharing negotiations between potential operators and the Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL). Legislators anticipate the launch of two or three such platforms by January 2024, as outlined in the bill’s regulatory timeline.

Vermont Betting

Details of the Vermont Sports Betting Market

Every operator would be required to pay an annual license fee of $550,000 for a minimum of three years and adhere to a minimum 20% revenue-sharing rate. The bill also permits betting on college sports and sets the minimum wagering age at 21. Furthermore, the DLL will review the state’s regulation of daily fantasy sports under the new law.

Operator bids will be assessed based on the capacity to maximize state revenue, reduce the illegal sports betting market, and support problem gambling initiatives. The bill mandates the DLL to collect the following information from each applicant:

  • Revenue estimate
  • Percentage of revenue to be shared with the state
  • Number of websites planned for a responsible gaming initiative
  • List of jurisdictions where they operate
  • Player acquisition model
  • Advertising strategy
  • Marketing budget

Projected Revenue from Vermont Sports Betting

According to the Joint Fiscal Office, the state anticipates generating approximately $2 million in sports betting taxes in 2024, between $4.6 million and $10.6 million in 2025, and roughly $10 million annually thereafter. The bill allocates $250,000 in FY2024 and $550,000 each subsequent year to problem gambling programs, with remaining revenue directed to the general fund.

Regional Spread of Sports Betting

Upon Governor Scott’s signing of the bill, Vermont will become the last Northeastern state to legalize sports betting, with South Carolina being Vermont’s closest geographic neighbor yet to enact a sports betting law. Despite several sports betting bills introduced in Vermont over the years, none gained significant momentum until now. Even so, Governor Scott has consistently supported sports betting, twice approving industry study bills.

Legislators received the most recent study results in December 2023, shortly before the session convened. Much of the bill now awaiting Governor Scott’s signature incorporates key recommendations from this study.