On Tuesday, Vermont formally joined the 2020 sports betting discussion.
A bill, S213, was introduced and referred to the Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee. A separate sports wagering bill, H484, failed to gain traction in the state in calendar year 2019.
The 2019 proposal in the House was introduced in late February, so one could argue Vermont is getting a much earlier start on the sports betting debate in 2020 than it did last year.
Under S213, Vermont would allow online/mobile sports wagering under the regulation of the state Board of Liquor and Lottery. The agency would issue licenses for the gambling activity, costing $10k for the initial one and also $10k for renewal. The state would collect a 10% tax on adjusted gross sports betting receipts.
Under the proposal, it would be legal to bet on both professional and collegiate sports.
Vermont’s 2020 legislative session runs until May 8, giving the state four months to legalize sports wagering.
Vermont isn’t home to any brick-and-mortar casinos, and it appears the state would go with online/mobile only for sports wagering, with no retail locations. That would be a sound policy decision considering around 86% of sports betting handle in New Jersey now takes place via the internet.
According to the American Gaming Association, the only form of legal gambling available right now in Vermont is the lottery. The state would be keeping up with the likes of New Hampshire and Rhode Island by authorizing sports betting.
Under S213, Vermont could have online/mobile sports betting in 2020, if the bill becomes law.
The Green Mountain State will be one to watch for gambling expansion during the first half of this year.