Vermont is on the verge of becoming the 38th state to legalize sports betting after lawmakers signed off on a VT sports betting bill Tuesday.
The VT sports betting bill (H.127) passed the House on a voice vote after the Senate agreed to several changes last week.
It heads next to Gov. Phil Scott, who is expected to sign it into law.
VT sports betting apps by next year
The bill legalizes only online sports betting, allowing two to six apps.
The final number of online operators will depend on revenue-sharing negotiations between potential operators and the Department of Liquor and Lottery, though lawmakers indicated they expect two or three.
Those would likely launch by January 2024, according to a regulatory timeline laid out in the bill.
VT sports betting market details
Each operator would pay an annual $550,000 license fee for at least the next three years and a 20% minimum revenue-sharing rate.
Betting on college sports would be allowed under the bill. The minimum age to wager would be 21. The DLL will also review the state’s regulation of daily fantasy sports under the bill.
Bids will be evaluated based on priorities of maximizing revenue for the state, reducing the illegal sports betting market, and supporting problem gambling efforts. The bill directs the DLL to gather the following information from each applicant:
- Estimate of applicant’s revenue
- Percentage of revenue shared with state
- Number of websites an applicant plans to use responsible gaming plan
- List of jurisdictions they operate in
- Player acquisition model
- Advertising program
- Marketing budget
$10 million annually expected from VT sports betting
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 each year after, with the remaining revenue sent to the general fund.
Sports betting spreads across region
Should Scott sign the bill into law, Vermont would become the final Northeast state to legalize sports betting. South Carolina is Vermont’s closest geographical neighbor without a sports betting law on the books.
Vermont lawmakers introduced several sports betting bills over the years, though none gained much traction until this year. Despite the stall, Scott has been a proponent of sports betting, twice signing into law industry study bills.
Lawmakers received results from the latest study in December, just before the convening for the 2023 session. Much of the bill headed for Scott’s desk incorporates key recommendations from that study.