The state of Vermont has legalized sports betting. However, according to recent reports on the matter, the state may be six months away from seeing a launch. Sam McQuillan, writing at LegalSportsReport.com, opened a July 5th, 2023, article on this topic.

“While Vermont sports betting apps are not yet available,” McQuillan wrote, “the state regulator is working to get them online before the NFL playoffs.”

Vermont sports betting: bettors could miss the New England Patriots

The NFL playoffs will start in January 2024 so, as of early July 2023, the launch of sports betting in Vermont is expected to come before then. Will Vermont sports bettors, many of who are partial to the New England Patriots, miss out on the NFL action this upcoming season? If you go by betting odds, then it could be viewed as probable.

Currently, the Patriots are underdogs to make the 2023/24 NFL playoffs. One sportsbook, bet365, has the Pats at +240 to qualify (ie. 12 to 5). If the launch of sports betting in Vermont comes just in time for the NFL playoffs, those that don’t cross state lines could miss out on the Patriots’ games this season. But if the launch comes well before the start of the NFL playoffs, then Vermont bettors might be able to wager on the Patriots while staying at home.

Of course, the Patriots aren’t everything in the world of sports betting, even for Vermont, which has no major-league teams. NHL hockey and NBA basketball will be in full swing come January. The Boston teams are expected to be very competitive. Furthermore, college basketball teams will prepare for the home stretch of their regular seasons with March Madness on the horizon at that point.

Vermont sports betting: slow due to a lack of gambling culture?

The McQuillan article makes an interesting point which may hint as to why sports betting may take a while to launch in Vermont. The state doesn’t have casinos: “Vermont…joins Virginia and Tennessee as the only states without casinos to legalize sports betting.” The implications could be that a state without casinos has fewer people who are professionally involved with gambling issues. Gambling, after all, isn’t a straightforward topic, even when legalized.

In contrast, the state of Kentucky legalized sports betting when its governor signed a bill in March 2023. Kentucky, with a strong sports culture that includes horse racing, is a state that hosts the annual Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. Accordingly, in March 2023 there were already loads of professionals in the state with a background in gambling. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission meets on Monday to nail down restrictions and regulations. They aren’t targeting the NFL playoffs but the start of the regular season in September.

For Vermont, patience appears to be the order of the day for sports bettors awaiting developments.