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On Wednesday, June 14, 2023, Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) signed into law H.127, a bill that legalizes sports betting within the state. Unlike many states, Vermont has made no provision for retail sportsbooks instead establishing an online-only marketplace for betting on sports.

Governor Scott has signed H.127 legalizing online sportsbooks in Vermont

About Vermont Sports Betting

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Regulatory powers over the new VT sports betting industry are granted to the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery. The Department is empowered to negotiate and contract with sportsbook providers to allow between two and six operators to conduct business in the state. It will also have the power to punish any companies that break the rules by imposing monetary penalties, suspension of licenses, and/or termination of all operations within the state.

Money Matters

The selection of sportsbook operators will be handled through a competitive bidding process. As such, the exact tax rate on sportsbook revenue will be part of the proposals that each applicant submits and could vary from operator to operator. However, the law sets 20% of gross sports betting revenue as the floor. In addition, there’s an operator fee of $550,000. The period of time that this fee will cover is subject to negotiation; however, it will be no less than three years.

The fees and revenue shares paid by the licensed sports betting firms will be placed in a Sports Wagering Enterprise Fund. It appears that the distribution of these funds will be decided on a year-by-year basis, but looks like part of the money will go toward a Problem Gambling Program and administering a self-exclusion program.

Prohibited Bets and Other Rules

Betting will be open to those inside the borders of Vermont who are 21 years of age or older. No wagering will be allowed on collegiate athletic events that take place in Vermont or involve Vermont teams. Similarly, bets on games where the participants are mostly below the age of 18 are prohibited. Curiously, horse racing is considered a “sports event” under the terms of H.127so wagering on races is also enabled by this legislation.

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According to the text of the bill, requests for proposals will be sent out in July, and prospective VT sportsbooks will be able to submit their bids starting in August. In September, the Department of Liquor and Lottery will choose which sportsbooks to license. The remainder of the year will see the contracts finalized and the necessary paperwork signed.

Then in January 2024, the first sportsbooks will hopefully be ready to appear. This is a somewhat ambitious six- to seven-month timeframe from bill passage to sportsbook launch, but it will likely be made easier by the small size of the state and the fact that licenses are capped at just six.

Reactions to the Bill

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Governor Scott, a longtime proponent of Vermont sports betting legalization, was pleased by the passage of H.127. In a statement dated June 14, he said:

I first proposed Vermont legalize sports betting several years ago and I’m happy the Legislature has come to an agreement, as well. We know many Vermonters already participate in the marketplace and bringing it above board provides important resources and consumer protections. Vermont now joins many other states who have made this move, and I want to thank Commissioner Knight and her team, as well as members of the Legislature for their collaborative approach on this issue.

Phil Scott is the 82nd governor of VermontVermont Governor Phil Scott Lauded the Legalization of Sports Betting

Opponents of expanded wagering in Vermont cite problem gaming concerns. As Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Mental Health Alison Krompf noted: “There still is a need to educate and make sure people are aware about some of the myths of problem gambling, which is often that it’s totally skill based and ‘I have this completely under control.’”

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Even supporters of VT sports wagering expect it not to grow especially large. Projections show $2 million for the state in the initial year, growing to perhaps $10 million in subsequent years. The fact that all neighboring states have already legalized sportsbooks undoubtedly contributes to the low expectations for Vermont sports betting as the industry cannot count on individuals from outside the state traveling in order to place wagers in The Green Mountain State.

Road to Legalization

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Once the Supreme Court decided in May 2018 that it was OK for states to legalize sports betting if they wanted to, there was a rush of legislation across the country aiming to do just that.

Vermont was one of the states that embarked on a push to legalize sports betting, but its initial attempts failed. A sportsbook bill was proposed in the House in 2019, but it did not proceed past the committee stage. In 2020, there were two separate proposals in the Senate. One failed to progress after a reading in a committee, but the second was actually passed by the Senate and sent to the House where it stalled.

It was a similar case in 2021 where a bill was introduced in the Senate and referred to committee, but no further action was taken on it. Nothing interesting happened in 2022, but then 2023 finally saw some progress on this front.

H.127 was introduced by State Representative Matthew Birong (D) in the House on Jan. 31. There it proceeded through various committees and was amended several times over the months. On March 24, it passed its third reading in the House and was sent to the Senate.

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The Vermont Senate wasted no time in sending the bill through various committees and readings during March, April, and May, amending it several times. On May 4, it passed a third reading in the Senate.

Due to the fact that the bill had been amended by the Senate since it had been passed in the House, it had to go back to the House for concurrence. On May 9, the House signaled its acceptance of the Senate amendment, and the bill was considered passed.

For unknown reasons, there was a delay before H.127 was presented to the governor on June 8. He then signed it into law on June 14.

No Need to Wait


The Vermont legalized betting market won’t be ready until early 2024, and even then, it will consist of only a few operators. You can broaden your palette by signing up for an offshore sportsbook, which you can do today. There’s nothing illegal about betting with these sites, so you can get your fix of Vermont sports betting today regardless of the timelines established by officials in Montpelier.

To learn more, check out this description of the top sports betting sites for Americans. Should you wish to instead engage in online poker playing, then consult this page about online poker in Vermont or this guide to internet poker for US players. And you can play online casino games too as you’ll realize if you read this list of the top offshore casinos for Americans.

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