The future of sports betting in Vermont

The future of sports betting in Vermont is unclear at this time, as no attempts to pass legislation to legalize sports betting have garnered much support.

The Northeast region is one of the more active for the industry as sports betting in Rhode Island and New Hampshire now includes sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps in operation, so that might add some pressure on Vermont to legalize in the future. Sports betting in Maine is also closing in on a launch after passing legislation in May.

When will online sports betting launch in Vermont?

At this point, it’s unclear if legal Vermont sports betting would even include online wagering in its law.

Other than the Vermont Lottery, the only gambling allowed in the state is by nonprofits to offer charitable gaming like bingo and casino nights.

That means that unless the lottery intends to operate sports betting itself and offer betting through its retail locations there will likely be online sports betting in Vermont. The market could look similar to Tennessee or Virginia, both of which legalized mobile sports betting without casinos.

There are some sportsbook operators that state taking bets from within Vermont is legal. That’s not entirely true, as these offshore sportsbooks are unlicensed in the United States. Since the books aren’t operating legally in the US, bettors in the US have no legal protections when dealing with these businesses.

That means if an offshore sportsbook chooses not to pay a winning bet or closes operations without returning customer funds, US customers would have no way to recover that cash.

Legal betting options in Vermont

Right now, there are no legal betting options in Vermont. The closest option would be any of the upstate New York casinos, crossing the Canadian border into Quebec or going to New Hampshire and downloading the DraftKings Sportsbook app.

Should the state legalize betting after studying other states, the market should look largely like others around the US. That means standard bet types and restrictions, including amateur sports events.

Vermont could ban bettors from wagering on in-state college teams since there’s likely just one school that would be affected. Since most states only allow betting on Division I colleges, Vermont could block betting on the University of Vermont Catamounts.

Most popular sports to bet on in Vermont

Vermont is one of the rare US states that does not have a professional sports team. Given Vermont’s location in the US, there are a couple of teams that could be popular to bet on.

Since Vermont is a part of New England, the NFL‘s New England Patriots could be one of the heaviest-bet teams in the state. All of the Boston-area teams, especially the Celtics, Bruins and Red Sox, would be some of the most popular teams in the state to bet on.

Hockey is also a popular sport in the state. The state has two nearby choices to support: the Boston Bruins or the Montreal Canadiens. College hockey wagering also would be popular if allowed.

Vermont and Daily Fantasy Sports

Vermont is one of the few US states that legalized daily fantasy sports.

The bill, passed in 2017, allows sports fans to enter DFS contests with popular operators like DraftKings and FanDuel.

The legislation was required after former Attorney General William Sorrell‘s office said daily fantasy sports contests go against the state’s gaming laws. Sorrell never officially released an opinion on DFS but assistant attorney general John Treadwell announced the office’s stance on its legality.

Is horse racing legal in Vermont?

Horse racing is legal in Vermont but there are no tracks licensed to offer racing.

Betting on horse races online is legal, however. That means anyone in Vermont can download horse race betting apps like FanDuel TV (formerly TVG) and TwinSpires.

Vermont sports betting timeline

October 2021: The study on the sports-betting industry in the US is completed and submitted. It includes information on potential revenue and and taxation.

June 8, 2021: Vermont passes HB 313, an act related to amendments to alcoholic beverage laws that also requires a study on the sports betting industry be done by October 15, 2021.

Feb. 11, 2021: Sen. Dick Spears introduces SB 77 which proposes legalize sports betting under the authority of the Department of Liquor and Lottery and would allow up to six sportsbooks to operate in the state. The bill is read and referred to Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs but has no progressed beyond that point.

2020: There were two sports betting bills that saw action in 2020, but just one went past the first step.

S 213 was filed in January by Sens. Dick Spears and Michael Sirotkin to legalize mobile-only sports betting.

It would have taxed revenue at 10%. Daily fantasy sports revenue would also have been taxed at 10%, replacing the current $5,000 annual fee.

The bill stalled after its first reading in a Senate committee.

Sirotkin’s S 59 was originally introduced in 2019 but saw little action. It was revived in March 2020 and made its way through the Senate to the House.

2019: H 484 was introduced by Rep. Thomas Burditt. It would have legalized online and retail sports betting regulated by the Board of Liquor and Lottery.

But the bill never got off the ground. It was read for the first time in a House committee and never touched again.

Potential sportsbook apps in Vermont

If and when the state of Vermont legalizes sports betting, these are some sportsbook apps that could potential be players in the state. All of these apps already operate in some fashion in the Northeast.

Vermont sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Vermont?

No, currently there is no legal sports betting in Vermont. That could change within the coming months, however, as the state legislature is considering further study of legal wagering.

Where can I bet on sports in Vermont?

There is no legal sports betting in Vermont, so there’s nowhere a legal bet could be placed. The closest locations for legal betting would be in New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

Can I bet on my phone in Vermont?

No, betting on your phone is not legal in Vermont since there’s no law authorizing legal betting.

There are some websites that will suggest they can accept bets from within Vermont and the rest of the United States. But these offshore sportsbook operators are not licensed to operate in the US, meaning there’s little consumer protection for anyone betting from the US.

This could lead to an offshore sportsbook choosing not to pay out winning bets or not returning consumer funds if the operation shuts down. Bettors in the US would have no legal claim to their funds.

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