Vermont Sports Betting Bill Passes House For First Time

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Vermont sports betting

Vermont sports betting is closer to being legal than ever before after passing the state House on Friday.

For the first time, a VT sports betting bill cleared a legislative chamber after lawmakers voted by voice to pass H. 127.

Sports betting in Vermont, which is backed by Gov. Phil Scott, will now be considered in the Senate.

Little opposition to wagering so far

The Senate Committee on Economic Development brought up a similar bill (S. 105) during a meeting about 30 minutes after the vote, though discussion was tabled for a later date. The bill received little discussion on the House floor, with just one lawmaker saying they would not vote for it because they believe it undermines college sports.

The bill received little opposition in its previous committee stops, with lawmakers focussed instead on how VT sports betting could impact daily fantasy sports regulation and implementing recommendations from a legislative study released in December.

Up to six VT sports betting apps

Under the bill, Vermont would allow between two to six sports betting apps.

Betting on horse races would also be legal, while betting on collegiate sports would be limited to schools located outside of Vermont.

After bidding for a license, prospective sports betting operators would enter revenue-sharing agreements with the state. It gives the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery authority to negotiate and set rates.

Bidding process details still pending

Bids will be determined under the priorities of maximizing revenue for the state, reducing the illegal sports betting market, and aiding problem gambling efforts, under language in the bill.

It gives the department the following guidelines for gathering information from applicants:

More detail of Vermont House bill

It also would prohibit any VT sports betting operators from using “free” to describe any promotions, marketing limitations that have caught on with other states as of late.

The DLL would also be required to study the state’s system for regulating daily fantasy sports, which have been legal in Vermont since 2017.

Vermont’s legislative session concludes on May 9.