Amended Vermont Sports Betting Bill Passes Senate, House Expected To Sign Off

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Vermont sports betting

Vermont is on the precipice of becoming the 38th state to legalize sports betting, after the Senate passed a sports betting bill Thursday.

The VT sports betting bill (H.127) passed on third reading in the Senate. That approval comes a day after making a series of amendments to the House-passed version. The House is expected to concur and send the bill to Gov. Phil Scott, according to sources in the legislature.

Scott has indicated he will sign the bill.

Vermont sports betting market details

Vermonters would have access to two to six sports betting apps under the bill. In-person sports betting would remain illegal, as the state lacks the physical infrastructure to host physical sportsbooks.

The total number of apps will be dictated by how many contracts the Department of Liquor and Lottery can secure, as it negotiates revenue-sharing rates with operators. Lawmakers have indicated they expect two or three.

Vermont would likely launch online sports betting by January 2024, according to a regulatory timeline laid out in the bill.

Each operator would pay an annual $550,000 license fee for at least the next three years. The bill sets their minimum revenue-sharing rate at 20%.

College betting, betting age and fantasy sports

Betting on college sports would be allowed under the bill and the minimum age to wager would be 21.

Lawmakers considered upping the age to play daily fantasy sports from 18 to mirror sports betting but opted instead for a study on DFS regulation.

That study, conducted by the DLL, is due in January.

Financial expectations in Vermont

The Joint Fiscal Office projects roughly $2 million in sports betting taxes in 2024, between $4.6 million and $10.6 million in 2025, and roughly $10 million each following year.

Problem gambling programs would receive $250,000 in FY2024 and $550,000 annually going forward, with the remaining revenue sent to the general fund.

Last domino in the Northeast

Vermont lawmakers tried for years to pass sports betting, but 2023 marks the first time a bill cleared any chamber.

Should sports betting become law, Vermont would be the final New England state to legalize sports betting. The next closest state without a sports betting law would be South Carolina.

Vermont’s legislative session concludes May 9.