Famous as the home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and pure maple syrup, Vermont has not yet found its sweet spot when it comes to legal sports wagering. But earlier this month, a paper detailing how to create a regulatory framework for such betting began circulating in Montpelier, meaning the state could be headed toward considering the issue.
Vermont remains one of 14 states without legal sports betting and is the only New England state not to have authorized the activity. In the region, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island currently offer legal betting, while regulators in Massachusetts and Maine are both working on rules with the intent to go live in 2023.
The 12-page Vermont paper comes from a legislative study committee created earlier this year. It does everything from defining what sports betting is to laying out types of regulatory structures and breaking down what consumer protections could look like. The paper does not address tax rates or the number of operators that could be in the market. Rather, it appears to be an introductory guide for lawmakers, and its existence suggests that sports betting bills could be filed for the 2023 session.
Wagering has gotten little attention
Legal wagering has not risen to the top of relevant issues for lawmakers in Vermont in the nearly five years since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned. Green Mountain State legislators considered sports betting study bills during the 2019-20 session and crafted the only bill in the nation that would have allowed operators to extend credit to a bettor, though it didn’t have legs.
Vermont Forms Committee to Study Legal Sports Betting 🙂
— VegasInsider (@VegasInsider) June 19, 2022
This past session, no bills were filed, but a draft that would have allowed for statewide mobile wagering and put the lottery in charge was circulating. Though the proposal was never filed, it did offer some insight into what wagering could look like in Vermont. The draft set the betting age at 18, called for six mobile platforms, appeared to limit wagering to digital only, and asked potential operators to suggest a tax rate.
The study committee created this year was tasked with meeting by Sept. 1. It can meet up to four times by Dec. 15, will cease to exist by the end of the year, and is tasked with submitting written reports to the House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs and the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.
Vermont’s 2023 legislative session opens Jan. 4 and runs through mid-May.