Vermont: Officials unveil guidelines for January’s launch of legalized online sports betting

Vermont Governor Phil Scott and state officials have provided details on the regulations governing the imminent launch of legalized online sports betting during their weekly briefing on Wednesday.

The legislative framework, known as Act 63, was passed by the Vermont Legislature and signed into law by Governor Scott in June. The state is scheduled to initiate online sports wagering on January 11th, the WAMC Northeast Public Radio reported.

Governor Scott, Republican, expressed longstanding support for this initiative. “In 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban that was in place. I first proposed legalizing sports wagering in 2019 and the legislature finally agreed this year and I signed it into law. We know many Vermonters already have been involved in sports betting for quite a few years,” Scott was quoted as saying in the report.

“We also know every one of our neighboring states has already legalized. By legalizing it and bringing it above board not only does it allow the state to gain revenue but it also allows us to put consumer protections in place and support addiction prevention initiatives.”

Department of Liquor and Lottery Commissioner Wendy Knight elucidated that the law exclusively permits mobile sports wagering through mobile applications.

It’s not offered at this point in retail locations or through Vermont Lottery agents,” Knight said. “Beginning today [Dec. 13] players will be able to download the apps from  DraftKings and FanDuel to set up their accounts, learn about sports betting in Vermont, responsible gaming and be ready to wager when we go live January 11th, 2024. Fanatics Sportsbook will launch shortly thereafter.”

“Essentially through these contracted arrangements, we are allowing these companies to operate their mobile sports platforms in Vermont under our specific rules and regulations. In exchange for that privilege, we earn a percentage of their revenue and they pay us an operator fee.”

Knight mentioned that the department has implemented various measures to ensure responsible gaming.

“This includes limiting this to people 21 years and older; not permitting the use of credit cards; not allowing wagers on Vermont collegiate sports unless they are in a tournament; not permitting betting on sports whose participants are primarily under the age of 18; and not describing bets as free bets unless they are in fact free,” Knight said, as per the report.

These safeguards are in addition to the established responsible gaming programs that operators have across the country that include player limits, time outs and responsible gaming resources.”

The revenue generated for Vermont through sports wagering contracts will stem from two primary sources. Firstly, the state will accrue income from operator fees. Additionally, Vermont is set to receive a monthly percentage of the revenues generated through online sports betting activities.

Projections indicate that Vermont anticipates earning approximately $7 million within the inaugural year of operations, with expectations of increased revenues ranging between $16 to $18 million within a five-year timeframe.