Vermont Sports Betting 2023: When Will VT Sportsbooks Launch?
Vermont sports betting is legal. Gov. Phil Scott officially signed legislation into law on June 14, setting up the state for launch sometime in early 2024. The Department of Liquor and Lottery will now take steps to secure contracts with as many as six online sports betting apps.
After multiple attempts to pass a sports betting bill in recent years, Vermont finally passed legislation during the 2023 legislative session to become the 38th state with legal sports betting.
Read below for the latest Vermont sports betting news and information on what the market could look like.
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Is Vermont sports betting legal?
Yes, but the state has yet to launch any online sportsbooks. Regulators in the state are now working to prepare the industry and hope to get sportsbooks online before the 2023-2024 NFL playoffs. BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel and Penn Sports Interactive (ESPN Bet) were the first five applicants for sports betting agreements.
Whats happening in Vermont sports betting right now?
- Nov. 15, 2023 – The Vermont Board of Liquor and Lottery approved new background check rules for some people working in the sports betting industry in the state.
- Sept. 15, 2023 – Five sportsbooks submitted applications for Vermont sports betting agreements. The list of potential operators includes BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics, FanDuel and Penn Sports Interactive (ESPN Bet).
- July 24, 2023 – Vermont’s Department of Liquor and Lottery issued a request for proposals from sportsbooks to make their pitches to be part of the legal sports betting industry in the state.
- July 18, 2023 – Vermont regulators have approved the state sports betting rules. The state is on pace to go live before the end of 2023.
- June 27, 2023 – Vermont regulators have already completed a draft of rules governing sports betting in the state and could launch online sportsbooks ahead of schedule. Regulators hope to get sportsbooks online before the 2023-2024 NFL playoffs.
- June 14, 2023 – After the House approved amendments to Bill H127 by the Senate, Gov. Phil Scott signs the bill into law.
- May 4, 2023 – Bill H127 passes in the Senate, meaning the state is on the precipice of legalizing online sports betting pending another approval of the amendments by the House and a signature from the governor.
What will Vermont sports betting look like?
The exact date for launch is a little unclear at this time, but a timeline laid out in the bill states January 2024 as the likely month.
Bill H127 authorizes up to six online Vermont sports betting apps offering online sports betting promos. Still, the total number will depend on how many contracts the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery can secure with operators. Lawmakers have indicated they expect two or three. Each operator would pay $500,000 for a Vermont sports betting license, followed by a fee that decreases per operator added annually over the next three years. The bill states that the state’s minimum revenue-sharing rate will be 20%.
In-person sports betting would remain illegal with the state lacking the physical infrastructure to host brick-and-mortar sportsbooks.
The minimum age to bet in Vermont will be 21, and betting on college sports is allowed under the bill.
Potential sports betting apps in Vermont
When the state of Vermont launches sports betting, these sportsbook apps could be available in the state. These were the first five operators to apply for Vermont sports betting agreements. Vermont law allows up to six online sports betting sites.
- BetMGM Sportsbook
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- Fanatics Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- ESPN Bet
Legal betting options in Vermont
Right now, there are no legal betting options in Vermont. The closest option would be any 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 essentially 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, a couple of teams 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 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
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 no tracks are licensed to offer racing.
Vermont sports betting timeline
February 2023: A sports betting proposal begins to move through the statehouse. The bill (H. 127), introduced by Rep. Matthew Birong, would authorize between two to six sports betting sites. HB 127 would also move the legal age for daily fantasy sports users from 18 to 21.
May 4, 2023: Bill H127 passes in the Senate, meaning the state is on the precipice of legalizing online sports betting pending another approval of the amendments by the House and a signature from the governor.
June 14, 2023: After the House approved amendments made to Bill H127 by the Senate, Gov. Phil Scott signs the bill into law.
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 to 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 the Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs but has not progressed.
Two sports betting bills 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 passed 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?
Yes. Vermont sports betting is legal, but bettors cannot place any bets until online sportsbooks launch in the state. While January 2024 was initially thought to be the launch month, Vermont has moved quickly to draft rules around sports betting and could launch as early as Q4 of 2023.
Where can I bet on sports in Vermont?
There are no legal sports betting options in Vermont at the moment, 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. Since sportsbooks have yet to launch, betting on your phone is illegal in Vermont.
Some websites 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.