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Vermont takes another step towards legalising online sports betting

On Wednesday, the Vermont Senate passed online sports betting legislation by voice vote during the bill's second reading.

Vermont takes another step towards legalising online sports betting

After earning clearance from three committees, HB 127 was sent to the Senate floor for a third reading, where it is likely to get final formal approval from Senators today. The bill will subsequently be forwarded to the House of Representatives for further amendments.

Highlights from HB 127

  • The Liquor and Lottery Department (DLL) will supervise the sports betting business and engage with potential operators.

  • DLL will be able to pick between 2 and 6 online sports betting companies.

  • The first licence price is $550,000 for a period of at least three years.

  • Betting on in-state college teams is not permitted.

  • Terms like 'risk-free' are prohibited.

  • There will be no credit card betting.

  • Online sports betting requires a minimum age of 21.

While no senators opposed the bill, some amendments were required to gain Senate approval. These were some examples:

  • Fee structure changes

  • There is no advertising cap.

  • Ads on college campuses are prohibited.

  • There will be no marketing to anybody under the age of 21.

  • Each submission includes a marketing plan.

All changes were approved without opposition.

During the bill's first reading, Senate Majority Leader Alison Clarkson cited GeoComply data showing that 16,000 Vermont residents attempted to access online sports betting in neighbouring states in the previous six months.

“Vermonters legally betting in New York state or Massachusetts means lost revenue to Vermont. And regulating sports wagering in Vermont keeps that revenue stream here where it is needed.”

According to the Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office, the business might produce $10.6 million in income during its first full fiscal year, which is scheduled to be FY25.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott has already included Vermont sports betting money in his executive budget, so the bill is expected to pass the House with no serious concerns.

Vermont sports betting might begin in January 2024 if legislation is passed.



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