Vermont Committee Weighs Merits of Legal Sports Betting

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Legal sports betting in the New England region of the country has been a hot topic the past few years. Rhode Island and New Hampshire got the party started as the first two states in that region to authorize legal sportsbooks.

Connecticut went live with both retail and online sports betting in 2021. To date, this has been the most successful legal market among these three New England states. Working through Connecticut’s two gaming tribes and its state lottery, industry growth has been impressive.

This group includes FanDuel, DraftKings and PlaySugerHouse Sportsbook as three US-based operators in Connecticut.

Maine joined the group earlier this year by passing the necessary legislation for legal sports betting. Also working with in-state gaming tribes, the process to regulate the industry is now underway.

The biggest New England market for legal sports betting would easily be Massachusetts. Boston alone would be a major draw with sports franchises representing all four major professional leagues. While the state House has passed its own bill, the matter still needs to be reconciled with the state Senate.

There is still a good chance that the two parties can come together on a compromise this year. However, there is some major work to be done to bring legal sports betting to the Bay State in 2022.

Vermont is the other New England state still working on this issue. State Senate Bill 11 remains in play as the primary piece of legislation to bring legal sports betting to the Green Mountain State.

One of that bill’s provisions calls for the establishment of special committee to study the issue. As another step forward on the matter, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed the necessary legislation to form that committee.

The committee to study legal sports betting in Vermont will consist of nine members. At the top of the list is the state’s Attorney General. Also included is Vermont’s liquor and lottery Commissioner. The Secretary of State and Secretary of Commerce and Community Development are on the list. The fifth member will be the Commissioner of Taxes.

The remaining four members of this committee will be state lawmakers from the House and Senate. The basis for this group’s work will revolve around an earlier study by Vermont’s Office of Legislative Council and the Joint Fiscal Office.

The timeframe for this next review is between now and Dec. 15. The group must meet once before Sept. 1 and it can meet as many as four times.

A written report of the committee’s work will be then submitted to the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs. This report will also go to the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.

Support for legal sports betting in Vermont is basically strong. The fact that neighboring states have legal sportsbooks in place could also become a contributing factor to a positive outcome.

Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

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