Vermont House sends sports betting bill to governor’s desk

Vermont would become the second state this year behind Kentucky to legalise wagering.
Vermont would become the second state this year behind Kentucky to legalise wagering.

House Bill 127 passed the Vermont House and Senate. 

US.- Legal sports betting is one signature away in Vermont after the state House passed House Bill 127 that will legalise online sports wagering. The legislation will now head to governor Phil Scott’s desk, who has indicated that he will sign the bill.

HB 127 had to face a lengthy path that included a trip through the House, a path through several Senate committees, some Senate amendments, and another trip back to the House.

The piece of legislation was filed by representative Matthew Birong and nine other House members. Betting would be regulated by the Department of Liquor and Lottery, which would grant a minimum of two and maximum of six online sports betting licences. There is no brick-and-mortar sportsbook element in the bill.

The Senate amendments clarified a tiered structure for licensing fees depending on how many operators are awarded a contract: two operators would pay $412,500 per operator; three operators, $366,666 per operator; four operators, $343,750 per operator; five operators, $330,000 per operator; six operators, $320,833 per operator.

Operators interested in launching in the state will need to offer at least 20 per cent of gross gaming revenue to the state in order to be considered.

The Senate committee included a provision that prohibits sportsbooks from advertising during events that are primarily intended for people under the age of 21. Sportsbooks must also submit annual marketing strategies to the state to demonstrate how the operator plans to prevent its advertising materials from reaching minors.

The Senate committee also incorporated provisions requiring sportsbooks to promote responsible gaming and resources for those who need help in curbing their play. Finally, the Senate committee included a directive that the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery, which would regulate expanded gaming if HB 127 becomes law, use 5 per cent of the sports betting receipts it receives for a new problem gambling fund.

According to a regulatory schedule laid out in the bill, residents of the State will be able to access online offerings by January 2024.

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sports betting in Vermont