Vermont Sports Betting Hopes to Go Live By January 2024

Dan Favale
By , Updated on: Sep 6, 2023 12:00 AM
Vermont sports betting hopes to go live by January 2024.

By the start of 2024, Vermont sports betting should officially be a reality.

This tentative rollout date has been a long time coming. Governor Phil Scott signed a bill that legalized sports betting in Vermont this past June. Ever since then, early 2024 has been the target date for a debut.

Entering the fall of 2023, that timeline remains in place. The Green Mountain State has gradually been working their way through an operational checklist. Most recently, according to Legal Sports report, the state’s Department of Liquor and Lottery “issued a request for proposals from sportsbooks to make their pitches to be part of the legal sports betting industry in the state.” This, essentially, means that Vermont is now accepting applications for online sports betting licenses. 

Typically, whenever we reach this stage of the process, states are on the verge of releasing gambling services to the public. So while Vermont still hasn’t announced an exact day and time for their sports gambling launch, their actions suggest they are right on schedule.

With this in mind, let’s go ahead and tackle the biggest and most important questions about the Vermont sports betting launch and any rules and regulations that might be in place.

Why Did Vermont Sports Betting Get Legalized in 2023?

We’ve already answered the when (January 2024) and how (bill signed into law) of Vermont sports betting. Now, let’s get to the why. As in, why now? The United States Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act back in 2018. It has taken more than five years for Vermont to prepare their own sports gambling services. What was their motivation?

According to VermontPublic.org, state officials basically grew weary of how many residents were finding ways to bdt on sports despite the gaming laws in place: 

Thousands of Vermonters already engage in legal sports betting by going to another state. Since betting relies on the location of your phone, a Vermonter can place a bet if they are physically in a state that allows betting, like New Hampshire. People do travel for sports betting! The practice of blocking or allowing sports betting depending on your physical location is known as geofencing. It is also believed that many Vermonters currently place online bets with illegal companies set up outside of the United States, and there are no consumer protections associated with these operations. This bill is viewed by its supporters as an important consumer protection measure.

As the article noted, sports betting in New Hampshire played a role in Vermont’s own decision. The former is just a short drive away for many residents. 

Rough estimates suggest that Vermonters were gambling at least hundreds of thousands of dollars every year with New Hampshire sportsbooks. That potential revenue The Green Mountain State could have been taxing. What’s more, it doesn’t even account for the undoubtedly many people who are spending money with offshore sportsbooks.

Is Online Sports Betting Also Legal in Vermont?

Yes, in addition to retail sports gambling, Vermont online sports betting will be legalized as part of this process.

Right now, the state has yet to officially decide which of the best online sportsbooks in the United States will be allowed to operate in their region. That will be determined in the coming weeks and few months.

However, House Bill 237 explicitly says that Vermont will license only six online sportsbooks to start. The state can always expand that number, but they will have to do so at a later date. 

To that end, with so few spots, the competition for Vermont sports betting licenses is supposed to be fairly aggressive. Online sportsbooks won’t want to miss out on approval now only to enter the market years down the line, when a handful of other operators are more established.

Can You Bet on College Sports in Vermont?

This is now a standard question to ask whenever a state legalizes sports betting. So many have introduced special rules on college sports gambling to help prevent underage wagering. 

Vermont is currently on course to join that club. Though the state allows betting on college sports, residents cannot wager on a school that’s located in Vermont.

Like many other states with similar restrictions, The Green Mountain State does have some exceptions. Vermonters will be allowed to bet on schools that play in the state if they’re participating in a tournament that doesn’t count toward the regular season standings.

For example, if the University of Vermont is playing in the NCAA March Madness tournament, residents from the state will be allowed to place bets on their game.

How Much Money will the State Make Off Vermont Sports Betting?

Answering this question is difficult when there’s no previous sample off which to base a response. Yet, that hasn’t stopped experts from trying. And per VermontPublic.org, the state is already predicting millions of dollars in additional revenue, with more to potentially follow in the future:

It is estimated that the plan could raise between $2 and $3 million a year at the start. However, once the system is fully operational – which could take a few years – it could increase to between $10 and $15 million dollars a year

“The money will be deposited in a special Sports Wagering Enterprise Fund. This fund will be used to pay the additional administrative costs for the Liquor and Lottery Department, which are expected to be around half a million dollars a year at the outset. The bill also calls for the state’s problem gambling fund to receive $250,000 a year.” 

These are pretty ambitious projections for a low-population state entering their first year of sports betting. At the same time, Vermont ensuring they allow online gambling is a big deal. More than 75 percent of all legal bets in the United States last year were processed with online sportsbooks. By getting into business with them from the jump, Vermont basically guarantees a level of popular interest.

Factor in that Vermont sports betting in 2024 is expected to launch before betting on the NFL Super Bowl wraps up, and it’s easy to see why revenue forecasts are so optimistic.

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Meet the author

Dan Favale

Dan first began writing about sports back in 2011. At the time, his expertise lied in the NBA and NFL. More than one decade, that remains the case. But he's also expanded his catalog to include extensive knowledge and analysis on the NHL, MLB, tennis, NASCAR, college ba...

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