- Remains illegal but a bill has been pre-filed to legalize mobile sports betting.
- Gambling in the Green Mountain State remains sparse, with only lottery, charitable gaming and DFS being offered.
The little state of Vermont, with only a population of 600,000 is moving along slowly with legalizing sports betting in 2020, after an inactive year in 2019.
Typically states with existing casinos, have gone down the path of legalizing sports betting via on-site bets only at casinos. Vermont, however, has no casinos and no other forms of gambling besides the State Lottery. And thus it cannot offer on-site sports betting without building infrastructure. Obviously, Vermont legislators do not want to expend monies on building an infrastructure for the sake of sports betting, and therefore mobile sports betting is strongly being considered as a viable option.
Offering mobile sports betting is a common sense approach, which would appeal to many of their residents. It would make sports betting accessible and it would not require wasting tax payers monies of establishing casinos, betting terminals or kiosks.
Is sports betting legislation a shoe in the door in Vermont?
Far from it. Vermont, just like many other US States is experiencing a deficit in their financial budgets and needs to find other avenues of raising tax revenue. Governor Phil Scott does not believe legalizing sports betting in the state will be the panacea to the deficit woes that the state is experiencing. Though he does admit it may alleviate the pressures of the budget, he values the approach of weighing up the pro’s and con’s.
Legality of Sports Betting in Vermont
In January 2020, Senators Michael Sirotkin and Richard Sears pre-filed the sports betting gambling bill SB213. Because the state is void of any existing casinos or other gambling venues, the bill puts forward sports betting exclusively via mobile betting. The bill includes proposing a $10,000 license fee for sportsbook operators that will need to be renewed every two years. It als proposes a tax rate of 10% on sports betting turnover.
The bill also references daily fantasy sports, which proposes a $5,000 license fee at a 10% tax rate on turnover.
Gambling in Vermont
Currently in Vermont that only two forms of gambling allowed onshore are State Lottery games and Charitable gaming. All other forms of gambling are illegal, including onshore poker, casino games and sports betting.
There are no native American casinos or commercial casinos.
The minimum age for gambling at the State Lottery or Charitable gaming is 18.
Below we list out the leading gambling revenue generators in Vermont according to data provided by H2 Gambling Capital.
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Vermont Online Sports Betting
Unbeknownst to many, online sports betting has been occurring for many years.
Vermont sports betting turnover for 2019 was $1.4 million, wagered via online sport betting sites.
These online sport betting sites are offshore and are open accept US players.
Is this illegal?
It is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly articulate whether gambling offshore online is illegal or not. Therefore, you will find many online sports books (and online casinos) accepting US players from states that have ambiguous gambling laws – Vermont is one of those states.
Is it dangerous?
There are two aspects to this question.
Firstly, will you get caught or fined?
I highly doubt it. Till this day, there has been no precedence of anyone being charged with breaking the law for playing at offshore online sports betting books or offshore online casinos.
Secondly, are offshore sports betting books trustworthy and reliable?
Very much so. They have been operating in the market for many years and sports betting is a clear cut outcome (when compared to online casino games). It’s therefore extremely difficult to argue that an outcome of a sports bet is wrong.
How can I find an online Sports Book?
The most popular offshore sports book is Bovada. It is the largest and has a long standing history of operating a sports book for US citizens.
Do NOT place a bet at an unlicensed sports book operating offshore. Unlicensed sportsbooks may not be reliable. Although they may offer great Welcome Bonuses, their promise to pay any winnings may be empty. Keep with the which are trusted and the big brand names.
How can I place a Sports Bet onshore?
It is illegal to run a sports book or place a sports bet within the borders of Vermont. Other than placing a sports bet at an offshore online sports book the only other option is to travel interstate where sports betting has been legalized.
You can find neighboring states of New Hampshire and New York that have legalized sports betting. Massachusetts is a work in progress and has yet to legalize sports betting.
Vermont Daily Fantasy Sports
It’s not clear whether Daily Fantasy Sports is legal in Vermont. But this has not stopped the big players DraftKings and FanDuel pushing the boundaries of legality and accepting players from Vermont.
In June 2017, SB136 was passed by the Governor in legalizing DFS, however it was only in January 2020 bill SB213 was raised referencing to licensing and tax rates.
Despite no operational framework established in Vermont for DFS, DraftKings and FanDuel continue to accept Vermont players. Whether or not this contravenes a regulatory framework that has yet to be established is debatable.
Slot Machines in Vermont
You will find no slot machines available in the state of Vermont. The state is barren of any casino and slot machine venues. The only alternative to playing is to play at an offshore online casino such as Bovada.lv.
Owning a Slot Machine
Owning a slot machine is permitted for private use only if the following conditions are met.
Firstly, the slot machine must be made from 1954 or older. The intention is that slot machines are to be for collecting purposes only, i.e. as a hobby, and therefore a new slot machine acquired from anywhere whether it be within the US or imported, should not be considered as a collector’s item.
Secondly, the slot machine cannot be used for gambling purposes for the owner to profit from. Should it be used in the form of profiteering through gambling, strictly applied fines will be imposed on the perpetrator.
Popular Sport Bets
- NFL – Vermont has no NFL teams.
- NBA – Vermont has no NBA basketball teams.
- MLB – Vermont has no Major League Baseball teams.
- NHL – Vermont has no NHL ice hockey teams.