Jubilantly “bounce around the room” if you are a sports betting fan in Vermont! Vermont is poised to become the 38th state (plus Washington D.C.) to legalize some sort of sports betting. After a supportive report from the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Vermont House Bill 127 (H.127) passed the state House and Senate. Its next stop would be the desk of Governor Phil Scott, at which point he would have five days to sign. If you live in or plan to visit the Green Mountain State, SportsHandle is here to break down all you will need to know about sports betting in Vermont.
|Vermont Sports Betting|
|📜 Is sports betting legal in Vermont?||Yes! But it hasn't launched yet|
|🚀 When will sports betting launch in Vermont?||January 2024 (estimate)|
|🔓 How many sportsbook apps will there be in Vermont?||At least 2, but no more than 6|
|🙋♂️ Can I bet on sports in-person in Vermont?||No, Vermont betting is only online|
|🚫 What is the legal age to bet on sports in Vermont?||18+, though sportsbooks may opt to keep this at 21+|
Vermont sports betting information
It was somewhat surprising to see the speed at which HB 127 made its way through the legislature in 2023. Vermont has studied the issue of sports betting in the past, but there has been no real push to legalize the activity prior to 2022. In just over a year, sports betting went from a legislative afterthought to being fully legalized. Specifics of HB 127, which allows for sports betting in the state, include:
Regulation and oversight
The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) will be the primary betting regulator in the state. Unique to this bill, the DLL will be empowered to determine the tax rate on a case-by-case basis with the sports betting operators as opposed to a traditional fixed-rate used by most states.
Vermont sports betting will be online-only
Vermont will join only Tennessee and Wyoming in legalizing online-only wagering. This means that all legal sports bets must be placed through one of the states licensed online betting apps.
Vermont to host between 2 and 6 mobile sportsbooks
Per its shiny new law, there will be a minimum of two and a maximum of six mobile sports betting apps licensed in the state of Vermont, with no retail locations. All bets will be placed online through a computer or VT sportsbook mobile app.
Taxes and fees for betting in Vermont
Once approved, each mobile operator will be charged an annual licensing fee of $550,000 for the first years of legal sports betting in Vermont. Beyond that, a recurring annual fee is yet to be determined.
There will be an adjusted tax rate on winnings of 6% on Vermont residents and 7.25% on out-of-state players.
No less than $250,000 annually will be funneled to the Responsible Gaming Special Fund that will help promote responsible gambling efforts in the state.
Betting on college sports in Vermont
Vermont sports betting law does allow wagering on college sports; however, betting on in-state colleges is prohibited (unless they are playing in a tournament). This probably won’t end up being a huge deal, because the University of Vermont is the only Division-1 school in the state, and they do not have a football team.
Age requirement set at 18
The legal sports betting age in Vermont has been set at 18, however, that’s not necessarily a guarantee that sportsbooks will accept these younger customers. Nationwide the legal betting age has predominantly been set at 21+, and with the industry focusing heavily on responsible gambling initiatives, some operators have indicated they may not service younger users regardless of local law.
For example, Kentucky, who also legalized betting in 2023, also set their sports betting age at 18. However, Caesars has already announced that it will only serve customers 21+ in the state. Time will tell on where companies choose to set the bar in Vermont.
Additionally, sports gambling promotion and advertising is illegal at events regularly attended by people under 21.
Vermont sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Vermont?
Yes it is! HB 127 passed the state House and Senate on May 9, 2023 and has been signed in to law by Governor Phil Scot.
When will sports betting be available in Vermont?
While sports betting is legal, sportsbooks will have to wait a few months before they can open up in the state. This is due to the regulatory structure that needs to be set up, which takes time. We expect bettors in the state to be able to legally wager online around January 2024.
Which sports betting apps will be available in Vermont?
Beginning on July 1, 2023, a formal request for bids will be announced by the Vermont Department of Liquor and Licensing. The new law enables up to 6 digital sports betting operators, however, the department is expected to choose two to three to begin with. We expect the biggest operators like FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars to be among the first sportsbooks available in the state.
Is mobile casino gaming also legal in Vermont now?
No. The legislation to legalize sports betting in the state does not include Vermont online casinos. Those wanting to wager on casino games will still have to go to New York or Massachusetts to visit a retail casino.
The path to legal sports betting in Vermont
While many bordering states have gone full steam ahead, Vermont has been steadfast in its methodical approach to legal sports betting. Just seven years ago, the Vermont attorney general’s office deemed daily fantasy sports games illegal, only for a state senate bill to override the ruling in February 2016. As a result, the new Department of Liquor and Lottery was created in 2018.
Early efforts fall in the House
In March 2019, House Bill 484 was introduced to enable sports gambling and uniquely allow sportsbooks to extend credit to bettors. It was deemed low priority to Green Mountain state legislators and died in the House.
Sports betting study, time, leads to results
A year later, the state Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs approved S59, a bill that created a sports betting study committee. Like a trickle of Vermont syrup out of a maple tree, two years passed until a draft bill surfaced laying the framework for permitting statewide mobile wagering. In the Fall of 2022, momentum finally began to build leading to the current legislation, HB 127, passing the house on March 24, 2023. After sending the bill back for technical changes, the state senate amended the bill and it passed both houses of the state congress on May 9, 2023.
The Latest Vermont Sports Betting News
Vermont House Sends Legal Sports Betting Bill To Governor
Vermont is prepared to become the final New England state to legalize sports betting and the second U.S. state this year behind Kentucky.
Vermont Sports Betting Bill One Step From Governor’s Desk
The Senate approved an amended measure, which will be sent back to the House for concurrence. It should be on the calendar early next week.
Vermont Senate Moves Heavily Amended Wagering Bill To Third Reading
The heavily amended legislation sets stringent advertising rules and calls for a minimum revenue share of 20%.
What’s next for sports betting in Vermont?
While it is exciting that sports betting is finally coming to Vermont, major issues surrounding the operational launch of Vermont sports betting persist. Sponsors of HB 127 have consistently forecasted two to three sports betting operators as the current language of the bill stands. The public will be in the dark until July 1, 2023, when bidding will begin for the coveted award of being one of the digital sports betting operators. Vermont is on track to have the mobile sports betting program activated and running by January 1, 2024. However, with no brick-and-mortar locations to be retrofitted or built, expect them to try to get it done by the 2023 football season.
The Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office estimates that state will receive $2 million in sports betting revenue for FY 2024 ballooning to $10.6 million in FY 2025
Potential Vermont online sportsbooks
As mentioned, HB 127 puts the Department of Liquor and Lottery in charge of granting sports betting licenses through a competitive revenue-sharing bidding process. Neighboring New York used this licensing process, which resulted in nine different digital operators hitting the market.
We will not know for several months which sportsbooks will win Vermont bids, but we are not above speculating! Considering the legal restraints of two to six digital sports betting operators for Vermont and the most popular ones in surrounding states, we expect all of the best sports betting sites in the US to bid:
- FOX Bet
- Barstool Sportsbook
- Caesars Sportsbook
- Fanatics Sportsbook
Legal sports betting in states surrounding Vermont
With no professional sports teams and a unique vibe, it should come as no surprise that Vermont was the last state in New England to legalize sports betting. While sports betting is technically legal in Vermont, it won’t be available until later in 2023 or early 2024, so for now, one must still visit one of the three border states to place a legal sports wager. As residency is not required for sports betting in the United States, one simply needs to be in the state where betting is legal. Luckily for Vermonters, there are plenty of options nearby.
One of the early adopters, New Hampshire enacted sports betting in 2019 and within three years exceeded $1 Billion in bets placed. In a questionable deal, the state went into an exclusive partnership with DraftKings making them the first and only operator in the Granite State.
Right on time for the Super Bowl and March Madness, legal sports betting in Massachusetts officially began in late January 2023. There are currently six online sportsbooks operating in the Bay State and three more pending approval. Hugging most of Vermont’s southwestern border, the closest brick-and-mortar sportsbook for Vermonters is the BetMGM Sportsbook in Springfield. Like Vermont, Massachusetts prohibits betting on in-state college teams.
The Empire State has welcomed sports bettors for in-person wagering since 2013 and has offered online wagering since 2022. There are currently 12 land-based casinos in New York, with the Rivers Casino Schenectady being the sole convenient sportsbook to Vermont. There are currently 9 mobile sportsbook operators in New York, accessible to all persons as soon as they cross the border into the state.
Likely banking options for Vermont sportsbooks
Bettors in Vermont will be happy to know that whatever sportsbook they choose will be regulated by the state government and will have many safeguards in place to protect customer deposits. Whatever banking method you choose for sports betting, your money will be safe at a legal, regulated sportsbook. Here are the most common ways Vermonters will be able to fund their sportsbook accounts:
- Credit + Debit Cards
- Online bank transfer
- Prepaid Play+ Cards
- Paper checks
- Apple Pay
- Gift Cards (deposit only)
Popular Sports Teams in Vermont
As the second least populous state in America, no professional franchise has called Vermont home. Besides taking pride and supporting their illustrious Olympic athletes, Vermont sports faithful have had to rely on many of their border states and small colleges and universities for sports allegiances. Yet, as sports fans know, the New England region sticks together when it comes to supporting all things Boston.
The Red Sox are far and away the most popular MLB team in Vermont. Nonetheless, with the western side wholly bordering New York, there are some Yankees and Mets fans sprinkled about.
If there is one franchise that the Green Mountain State embraces above them all, it’s the NFL‘s New England Patriots. Though, similar to baseball, you might find some Jets and Giants fans in the state due to its proximity to New York state.
With the storied NBA Celtics not too far away, Vermonters tend to gravitate their allegiances towards them. However, the University of Vermont men’s NCAA basketball team holds a special place in sports fans’ hearts. With impressive runs to the NCAA Tournament in four out of the last six seasons, the Catamounts have been the pride of the American East Conference.
No matter one’s age, natives can’t wait for the ice to thicken and a neighborhood pond hockey match to commence. The Quebec/Canadian influence truly shines through with Vermont’s most popular sport. The locals split their NHL allegiances between the Boston Bruins and the Montreal Canadians, who play just two hours north of Burlington, the state’s largest city. Additionally, the storied University of Vermont men’s hockey team has produced 18 NHL players, with seven going on to win Stanley Cups, including John LeClair and Patrick Sharp.
Gambling history in Vermont
With a deep appreciation amongst residents for nature and the outdoors, a deep history of gambling in Vermont does not exist. Whether a local or traveler, Vermont has been known as a recluse from the busyness of society and the dopamine rushes of screen time. To that point:
- Regulated horse and greyhound track racing was only established during the tail end of the Kennedy administration and the last horse racetrack in Pownal closed in 2008. Despite the lack of live racetracks, betting on the ponies is permitted at off-track betting parlors.
- There has never been or any intention to explore having Native American tribe or brick-and-mortar casinos in Vermont.
- Voters approved a lottery in November 1976 with the subsequent first ticket sold in February 1978. For 20 years, all profits were dedicated for use by the state’s general fund until Vermont Legislature mandated that all profits go to the education fund in 1998.