Vermont has been in the news recently as lawmakers make a push for sports betting. Gov. Phil Scott has been an advocate for the operation as he expects millions in revenue to come from the business venture.
Vermont’s Sports Betting Bill Making Progress
The Green Mountain State is one of the states that has been referencing other jurisdictions to draft a bill and regulations. On Tuesday, Rep. Matthew Birong introduced H 127; it would essentially authorize two to six sports betting platforms to enter the state.
Maine will be one of the markets with a high barrier to entry. In addition, the House Government Operations and Military Affairs committee invited problem gambling experts to comment on the bill on Thursday. The Commission wants to take as many protective measures as possible because problem gambling has been on the rise across the industry.
Asked by one legislator if there is a metric for athletes that rig their contests, Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, replied that there isn’t. According to Whyte, the NCAA examines 25,000 student-athletes every three years and finds that 0.4% of them fix their matches, though he argues that figure is probably low. The number is closer to 30 percent.
Vermont is One of the Last States to Have Sports Betting in the Region
Scott has been an advocate for the sports betting industry as he projects the $2.6 in tax receipts annually for the population that ranks 49th in the nation. There might be more pressure on the line this time as Massachusetts has recently joined the industry.
A plethora of work needs to be done in Maine, but lawmakers project the operation to launch during the summer months. If this is the case, this would leave Vermont as the only state without a market.
Much like any other state in the country, licenses will be awarded on a competitive basis. To gain access to the state’s market, bookmakers must outline their gross revenue, responsible gaming plans, and long-term revenue strategies. Annually, a license renewal will cost $275,000 to remain in operation.
In the bill’s current form, there is no mention of brick-and-mortar gaming facilities in the state. This is in line with the study’s findings, which cited a lack of casinos or race tracks as an obstacle.
What Would the Potential Tax Revenue Look Like in the Green Mountain State?
In line with the study, the bill does not specify a tax rate or how the revenue will be used. The proposal asks for the rate operators are willing to pay as part of a revenue-sharing agreement. There are similar systems in place in states such as Rhode Island and Delaware.
The $2.6 million annual tax receipts are there and are set insight into the potential market. Neighboring state Rhode Island could prove strong evidence as to what the state could achieve moving forward.