The sports betting push in Vermont has been relatively quiet, but lawmakers commissioned a study to have a sense of what the direction is moving forward. This isn’t the first time a study has been done, as Maryland conducted a similar one before launching the State’s mobile sports betting operation.
What is Going On in Vermont?
There is a plethora of unknown factors circulating in the Green Mountain State because they have proposed a total of 87 bills since lawmakers convened for the 2023 legislative session.
None of the measures mention the study currently being conducted.
According to the Sports Betting Study Committee report, regulated online sports betting in Vermont would provide the state with tax revenue and player protections. Still, no bills have made it to the Committee in the last two years.
What do lawmakers think about expanding Vermont’s gaming market?
Rep. Thomas Stevens chairs the Lottery Oversight Committee, and he is still reviewing the study at the moment. He and other lawmakers have questioned the expansion of Vermont’s limited gaming market because it has the 49th largest population in the nation.
Meanwhile, Gov. Phil Scott has considered the expansion because there are numerous findings in the study conducted. The Green Mountain State has no tribal casinos, commercial casinos, and racetracks, which means the only suitable market would be online, which is comparable to Tennessee’s market.
A state-controlled market would allow two to six sportsbook operators to be involved in a competitive bidding process, as the jurisdiction would have a low barrier to entry. The Committee would take its time to license operators on a one-by-one basis. In addition, the report recommends entrusting regulation to the Department of Liquor and Lottery, which could enable a faster launch than if Vermont needed to create a new gaming agency.
Vermont is On the Clock with Neighboring States Making Waves in the Industry
The idea of allowing sportsbook operators to use promotional deductions is up in the air because it is unknown what route the state will take in its current situation. However, it’s recommended that the state sets a minimum tax rate for the sports betting market.
The last recommendation is not to allow the state lottery to offer its own platform.
Some markets have taken that approach, but it gives consumers limited options on the number of platforms one state has.
It is unknown if Vermont feels the pressure for being the last state to hold out from joining the sports betting industry in the Northeast region. Maine is currently working with its tribal partners to come up with a solution, as a potential launch could happen sometime during the summer. Rhode Island’s state lottery has an exclusive partnership with IGT and William Hill.
New Hampshire has a sole partnership with DraftKings, while Connecticut offers more than one platform, even though the state lottery has its own mobile platform. Finally, Massachusetts is pushing to launch mobile sports betting before the start of March Madness.