Vermont sports betting is officially in law after Gov. Phil Scott signed a bill recently approved by the state legislature.
Scott signed the VT sports betting bill into law on Wednesday, setting up the Green Mountain State for its first legal bets by early next year. It marks the 38th state to legalize sports betting, as well as the last Northeast state to do so.
“I first proposed Vermont legalize sports betting several years ago and I’m happy the Legislature has come to an agreement, as well,” Scott said in a statement. “We know many Vermonters already participate in the marketplace and bringing it above board provides important resources and consumer protections.”
Scott previously commissioned one of several legislative studies on Vermont sports betting. Earlier this year, he included tax revenue from the business in his annual budget.
January 2024 VT sports betting launch
The Department of Liquor and Lottery will now take steps to secure contracts with up to six online sportsbooks, with the first expected to be live by January 2024, under a timeline laid out in the bill:
- July: DLL issues requests for proposals to potential operators
- August: Operators bid for licenses
- September: DLL evaluates and selects bids
- October-December: DLL negotiates and executes contracts
- January 2024: First apps go live
It is a relatively aggressive timeline for a small state that lacks previous casino regulation and still needs to negotiate tax rates with operators, but DLL Commissioner Wendy Knight has reiterated Vermont should launch before betting on the NFL playoffs.
The DLL will also work with the Department of Mental Health on a problem gambling study, reported to the legislature annually. The legal age to bet will be 21 and there will be no physical sportsbooks.
How much tax revenue with Vermont bring in?
Tax rates will be part of negotiations between potential operators and the DLL, which could impact how many sportsbooks choose to come to Vermont. Lawmakers have previously said they expect two or three. The bill they passed requires licensed sportsbooks to fork over at least 20% of their revenue to the state.
That is expected to generate at least $2 million in tax revenue in 2024 and at least $10 million annually by 2026, according to the state Legislative Joint Fiscal Office.