Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

  • A study recommends Vermont legalize sports betting in 2023
  • Legislative committee’s study says sports betting should be “state controlled”
  • House members still need convincing

Vermont sports betting could become a reality in 2023, but several powerful state legislators first need to be convinced of its benefits.

A study committee formed to evaluate sports betting’s impact on the Green Mount State recently completed its findings and have formally recommended Vermont legalize sports betting in 2023 legislative session. The 2022 Sports Betting Study Committee, a nine-member group, met in the fall to begin its deliberations and formally submitted its report last week.

Committee Recommends Sports Betting

The committee unanimously agreed that Vermont would be “best served by legalizing sports wagering” and should established a state-controlled market. The committee recommended that Vermont adopt a sports betting program similar to New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, where the state would select sports betting operators through a “competitive bidding process.”

The committee did not recommend that Vermont offer its own sports wagering platform through the state lottery, noting that state’s which have adopted such a strategy suffer from “slow implementation, lower customer engagement, and lower revenue generation.”

It was recommended that the Department of Liquor and Lottery control the state’s sports betting program and offer exclusive contracts to sports betting operators, as there is no other regulated gaming in the state. The committee did find that Vermont residents are already engaging in sports betting through unregulated means and a regulated market would offer protections and services to potential problem gamers that are not currently available.

Despite the general framework put forth in the study, no tax rates were recommended and the methods of sports betting were not defined. It’s unknown if the study committee hopes to legalize retail sports betting, online sports betting, or both in the state.

Vermont has no other forms of gaming or land-based casinos, so retail sports betting would have to take place in other establishments if the state hopes to pursue such legalization.

House vs. Senate

This is not the first year Vermont has considered sports betting. According to My Champlain Valley, the Vermont Senate has supported sports betting in the past and have passed bills that have not moved forward in the state legislature.

House Speaker Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington) has previously said that enacting sports betting is not a priority for her. She noted that she has yet to see the study,

“I need to see a lot more data and have a better understanding of what we can do to make it safe and have really strong guardrails,” she said.

Vermont’s 2023 legislative session will begin on Wednesday, Jan. 4, and conclude on March 16.

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Robert Linnehan

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