Vermont legalizes online sports betting, eyeing launch in January 2024

Vermont has officially joined the growing list of US states that have legalized sports betting. Governor Phil Scott has signed House Bill 127 into law, paving the way for the online-only regulated market to open in January 2024. The bill had successfully passed through the state’s House and Senate before reaching Governor Scott’s desk last week.

Expressing his satisfaction with the new law, Governor Scott 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.”

Under HB 127, up to six online sportsbooks will be allowed to operate in Vermont. The state’s Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) will oversee the process of awarding contracts to potential sports betting operators.

The timeline outlined in the bill indicates that requests for proposals will be issued next month, with operators able to submit bids from August. The DLL will evaluate and select the winning bids in September, finalize the contracts by the end of the year, and prepare for the market’s anticipated opening in January.

Operators who are successful in their bids will be subject to a 20% tax rate on revenue generated within the state. To participate legally, players must be at least 21 years old. In consultation with the Department of Mental Health, the DLL is set to provide an annual report to the legislature on the impact of sports betting on problem gambling in the state.

Companies will also be required to submit a responsible gaming plan each year, outlining measures such as the posting of materials related to problem gambling, available resources for bettors with concerns, house-imposed player limits, and self-exclusion programs.

The legalization of sports betting in Vermont aligns with the trend seen in several other states across the country, with more than 30 states now allowing for legalized sports betting in the US. Just yesterday, Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law, legalizing sports betting in North Carolina.