The Green Mountain State could be known for its cash piles if the legislature legalizes sports betting this year.
And a member of the Vermont legislature might face an uphill battle, but still tries to get the state involved in the sports betting action.
Vermont State Sen. Richard Sears introduced S 213 on Tuesday, January 7 — the first day of the 2020 legislative session — and had the bill referred to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.
The law, if passed, would legalize sports betting in Vermont, but sports betting could only be conducted online and through mobile apps. However, it’s worth noting that states like New Jersey derive most of their sports betting revenue online and mobile.
Vermont currently has no brick-and-mortar casinos, and the lottery has long been the only way to gamble in the state.
Because there are no physical retail locations to launch from, Sears’ proposal is similar to state sports betting laws in newly legalized jurisdictions like Tennessee, which had no gaming infrastructure at the time of passage.
The Vermont Board of Liquor and Lottery is designated as the state regulator of sports betting and is tasked with implementing and maintaining the rules for Internet-based sports betting operators.
Under the current wording of the bill, adults over the age of 18 will be able to place bets on sporting events from their personal electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets or desktop computers.
Both betting sites and mobile sportsbook can only accept bets from persons physically located within Vermont state lines.
Betting on college sports or any other sporting event where the majority of participants are under the age of 18 is prohibited.
All professional and collegiate sporting events are eligible to receive promotions, and there are no restrictions on games involving state collegiate teams. The bill also allows esports betting as long as the event does not have a majority of the underage participants.
Bet types allowed on the Vermont Calculator include single game bets, teaser bets, parlays, over/under, money line, pools, change bets, in-game bets, in-play bets, proposition bets, and straight bets.
Upon receiving board approval, operators must pay an initial license fee of US$10,000 valid for two years and US$10,000 for each renewal.
A tax rate of 10% is levied on gross revenue from sports betting and government tax revenue goes to the general fund of the state.
The 2019 House proposal failed to make it out of committee after its first reading in February. However, the Senate bill introduced this week gives lawmakers more time to consider options for legalizing sports betting in Vermont.
The VT Legislature has until May 8 — the close of Vermont’s 2020 session — to pass a sports betting bill, and with New Hampshire joining Rhode Island and now offering sports betting, competition is growing in New England.
But if the state legalizes sports betting during the current session, sports betting could start in Vermont before the end of the year.