Vermont is yet another state in the North East of the United States that has introduced a bill that would call for mobile sports betting. Vermont joins Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, and Maryland in terms of Northeastern states looking to legalize or structure sports betting to include mobile wagering.
Vermont has been attempting to legalize sports wagering for several years within the state. However, time and time again, the opposition was too strong. While Senators feel different this time around, there is no clear answer on whether this piece of legislation will be any different than 2019 and 2020.
The Bill That is Being Offered
The bill that would officially legalize sports betting, S 77, is going through the State Senate. The bill is lead-sponsored by Senator Dick Sears and is additionally sponsored by Senator Richard Westman, Senator Michael Sirotkin, and Senator Christopher Pearson. The bill has entered the committee stage and will need to be voted on there to reach the floor.
The committee in charge of overseeing this specific piece of legislation is the Committee on Economic Development, Housing, and General Affairs. The bill has just entered the first stage and will be looked over in the coming weeks.
S 77 has several key points to it. First off, it would limit the number of mobile sportsbooks possible to six within the state. However, with how small Vermont is, this is not a massive issue. The bill would give oversight and regulatory power to the Department of Liquor and Lotteries when it comes to sports wagering. This department would have a lot of say as the bill is rather barebones right now when it comes to details on sports betting.
Possible State Revenue
The current bill that is being looked at has no tax percentage, or licensing fee included. However, with only 600,000 plus people in the state, the revenue is never going to be extraordinary on a total scale. One thing that it can be is decent per capita. Vermont can most likely get away with charging a fairly high licensing fee as sportsbooks are overly-competitive at the moment. They are all trying to get every inch of the market, especially geographically speaking, that they can.
For companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, the thing that is more important than 600,000 new customers in Vermont is continuity. Both of these sportsbooks want to be your go-to sportsbook no matter where you are. The last thing DraftKings, FanDuel, or even other sportsbooks like BetMGM want is for you to reach the Vermont border on a trip and all of a sudden need to switch sportsbooks and get frustrated that you can no longer bet with theirs.
It seems that almost every North East state has legalized or is planning on legalizing mobile sports betting, and this is really when the continuity factor will start to kick in, especially with such small state borders.
Vermont can take advantage of this fact and charge a good-sized entry fee and a high tax rate. These sportsbooks will pay for it. This is the golden era of sports betting, with everything being fresh and new. Therefore, the willingness to pay for new customers, larger legal borders, and a bigger market share is extraordinary.