Vermont Sports Betting is Set to Launch in 2024; Expected to Generate $10 Million/Year in Tax Revenue
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott signed the state’s sports betting bill today (June 14th), effectively legalizing sports betting throughout the Green Mountain State.
The bill – H. 127 – passed the House on May 9 and was amended by the Senate shortly thereafter. It was then sent to Governor Phil Scott, who gave his expected signature over one month later. Vermont is the third state to legalize sports betting in 2023; Kentucky being the first, and North Carolina, which legalized just hours before Vermont, being the second.
Vermont Sports Betting Details
H. 127 allows for online betting only in the state, joining Tennessee as the only other state to prohibit in-person sports betting. While the bill does allow betting on college sports, it does not allow individuals to bet on in-state colleges and universities.
The bill allows for between two and six operators to be licensed, as decided by the Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL). The competitive bidding process will explore various components of each operator such as estimated revenue and their projected revenue contribution to the state. Per the fiscal note, the DLL will negotiate a revenue sharing agreement between licensed operators, with the minimum allowable share rate being 20%.
In addition, each operator will pay a $550,000 license fee that will last for three years. After that, the annual fee will decrease based on the number of operators in the state.
January 2024 Launch Goal
The market is expected to launch in January 2024, per the timeline addressed throughout the legislative process, however operators would be able to start bidding for a license in August of this year. The DLL would select its recipients for the online sports betting licenses in August and September, and contracts will be awarded in October and December. Contracts will be awarded based on a competitive bidding process.
Assuming the launch timeline stays on track and launches at the beginning of next year, the Joint Fiscal Office is projecting $2 million in tax revenue in 2024. They project between $4.6 million and $10.6 million in 2025, and a steady $10 million each year following.
Vermont Completes Sports Betting in New England
Vermont’s legalization of sports betting now makes sports betting legal in every state in New England. Connecticut, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island already offer sports betting, and Maine has legalized it but not yet launched. Vermont also borders New York, which launched in January of last year. These were all big motivators to get Vermont in on sports betting legalization.
“What happens now is Vermonters go across state lines and they bet in neighboring states legally,” said Wendy Knight, the commissioner of the DLL.
While it’s not a sports-forward state nor is it home to any professional sports teams, there are plenty of teams located throughout New England that people of Vermont will finally get a chance to bet on. This includes the New England Patriots, Boston Red Sox, Boston Celtics, New England Revolution, Boston Bruins, and several famed college teams as well.
After signing the bill, Scott issued the following statement:
“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. Vermont now joins many other states who have made this move, and I want to thank Commissioner Knight and her team, as well as members of the Legislature for their collaborative approach on this issue.”