There’s currently no sports betting in Vermont but a study bill in the 2020 legislature could eventually lead to legal betting in the state.
Sen. Michael Sirotkin submitted S 59, which would create the Sports Betting Study Committee. It was approved by the Senate and is now in the House.
It would study various sports betting models to decide what would be best for the state of Vermont.
The Vermont legislature was suspended over the summer because of the coronavirus pandemic. It reconvened in August and could run for a month, meaning there’s still time for the House to take action.
The future of sports betting in Vermont
Sports betting in Vermont could become legal depending on the outcome of a study in front of the legislature. The Northeast region is one of the more active for legal sports betting, with Rhode Island and New Hampshire operating sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps.
S 59 would look at a few key sports betting areas:
- Studies and laws from other states concerning legalization, taxation, and regulation of sports betting.
- Any potential retail and/or online sports betting models that could fit Vermont, including pros and cons for each model.
- Any potential limitations or restrictions on bets, such as banning in-state college betting.
- Impacts of sports betting on various socioeconomic and demographic groups.
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 the 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 the businesses.
That means if an offshore sportsbooks chooses not to pay a winning bet or closes operations without returning customer funds, US customers would have no way to recover that cash.
Recent Vermont sports betting and DFS stories
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 or crossing into 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. The team will likely not be the same constant favorite as it has been in the past after quarterback Tom Brady left the team. Even still, the Patriots should command a solid percentage of handle in the state without Brady.
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
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.
Vermont sports betting timeline
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 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.
But 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 this March and has since 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.
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.