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Vermont Sports Betting Updates

Online and retail sports betting are currently illegal in Vermont. There have been four attempts to legalize wagering in VT, with the latest three focusing solely on online betting.

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Sports betting sites are not available in Vermont. However, sports fans in VT can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

Vermont Sports Betting Summary

Vermont may lie in New England, one of the most successful sporting regions in the US, but the Green Mountain State itself lacks a rich sporting history. That extends to sports betting, which is illegal both online and at retail locations. There have been efforts to pass wagering legislation since the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PAPSA), but none have been successful.

However, Senator Michael Sirotkin’s SB 59 to create a Sports Betting Study Committee passed the Senate and there is vocal support for sports betting in the state, with the Joint Fiscal Office producing a sports wagering report confirming its feasibility. Governor Phil Scott has also publicly spoken about his support for betting.

Other forms of gambling are available in the state, including online horse race betting. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games were declared illegal by Attorney General William Sorrell in 2016 but the state subsequently passed a law to legalize these games in 2017.

Read our betting guide to learn everything you need to know about sports betting in Vermont, including the latest news, likely restrictions on wagering, and legal alternatives for VT bettors.

Vermont Online Sportsbooks Summary

Online sports betting may be illegal in Vermont, but it is the most likely type of wagering to launch in VT. There have been three online-only sports betting bills, the most recent of which (SB 77) died in committee in 2022. There is significant support for wagering, with SB 59 managing to pass the Senate in 2020. In fact, leading Vermont lawmakers have voiced support for sports betting, including Sen. Sirotkin and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Sen. Sanders has publicly said he supports sports betting “as long as there are restrictions on how much people can bet”.

Gov. Scott is another supporter, reserving $2.5 million to facilitate sports betting in 2022 and including sports betting in his 2021 budget recommendations.

There is no online sports betting, but you can bet on horse racing online using platforms like TVG and TwinSpires. You can also play DFS games with top providers such as FantasyDraft, ESPN Fantasy, and Yahoo!

If you want to wager online, you can visit neighboring New Hampshire and use the state’s exclusive online sportsbook, DraftKings. You can also visit New York, which has licensed nine online betting operators. These include DraftKings, FanDuel, WynnBET, and other top brands.

How to Place a Bet in Vermont

Although sports betting remains illegal in the Green Mountain State, you can bet on horse races online. Follow the steps below to get started:

  1. Research the race you want to bet on to make informed wagers. Consider factors like a horse’s form, the jockey, and turf conditions.

  2. Visit a legal horse racing betting site such as TwinSpires or TVG.

  3. Register by entering your full name, email, phone number, and address. You'll also need to confirm your age and provide the last four digits of your Social Security number.

  4. Visit the cashier section to make your first deposit. Choose a payment method and how much money to add, ensuring you meet the site's welcome bonus terms.

  5. Choose a horse race and select a wager. Add it to your bet slip, decide your stake, and confirm the wager.

If your bet is successful, return to the cashier section and withdraw any winnings.

Banking Methods Available in Vermont

When betting on horse racing online, you can use a wide range of trusted payment methods, including bank cards like Visa and Mastercard. Many betting sites will also accept e-wallets such as PayPal and Skrill. You can also use prepaid cards like PayNearMe, which you can top up at local retailers like 7-Eleven and CVS.

If online sports betting comes to the state, many of these payment options will be valid at sportsbooks. Other payment methods may also launch, including Play+, which is partnered with a number of top US betting brands.

Who is Eligible to Bet in VT?

If Vermont legalizes sports betting, it is expected to follow regulations employed in nearby states. The current gambling age in Vermont is 18 for the lottery, but most states require you to be 21 to place bets. You'll need to prove your age with a photo ID before betting. In addition, the following individuals will likely be banned from sports betting:

  • Players, coaches, employees, or members of any professional or college sports team.

  • Officials, referees, or umpires of professional or college sports leagues.

  • Individuals who have professional or regulatory authority to influence players.

  • Individuals employed by a sports league who can create or influence rules for that sport (e.g., MLB, NCAA)

  • Individuals who have an ownership stake in a sports team.

  • Individuals who have access to non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records)

  • Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.

  • Individuals who are prohibited from betting at a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).

Latest Vermont Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in Vermont

All sports betting is currently illegal in Vermont. There was an attempt to bring retail sports betting to the state in 2019 with HB 484, but since then most legislation has focused on an online-only market. There is growing demand for wagering in the state, with support from the Joint Fiscal Office and Gov. Scott suggesting legalizing sports betting in his 2021 fiscal budget request. The earliest sports betting legislation can pass is 2023.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Vermont

  • July 17, 2022: Outgoing chair of the Senate Economic Development Committee (EDC), Sen. Sirotkin, blames sports betting’s continued illegality on "skittish" committee members.

  • July 15, 2022: The Vermont Joint Fiscal Office publishes a 180-page report recommending the legalization of sports betting in the state.

  • May 28, 2022: The Vermont legislative session ends with sports betting legislation SB 77 dying in committee.

  • May 21, 2021: The Vermont 2021 legislative session ends without SB 77 being brought to a vote. SB 77 is carried over to the 2022 legislative session.

  • February 11, 2021: Sen. Dick Sears Jr. introduces SB 77, a bill to legalize online sports betting and provide licensing for six operators. It is referred to the EDC.

  • January 21, 2020: Gov. Scott delivers his proposal for the 2021 fiscal budget and includes a recommendation to legalize sports betting.

  • August 30, 2020: The end of the 2020 legislative session sees SB 59, HB 484, and SB 213 die in the committee phase.

  • June 17, 2020: SB 59 is passed on third reading by the Vermont Senate. The House General Housing and Military Affairs Committee (GHMA) receives the bill.

  • March 24, 2020: SB 59 is recommended with a favorable report by the EDC and goes to the Senate floor for a vote.

  • January 29, 2020: SB 59, a bill that would create the Sports Betting Study Committee to bring about the legalization of sports betting, is introduced by Sen. Sirotkin. The bill is referred to the EDC for approval.

  • January 15, 2020: HB 484 is discussed by the House GHMA after being carried over from the previous legislative session, but the bill finds limited support.

  • January 7, 2020: SB 213, a bill that would legalize sports betting in the state with a 10% tax on gambling revenues, is introduced by Sen. Sears. It is referred to the Senate EDC.

  • May 29, 2019: The 2019 Vermont legislative session ends, and HB 484 is carried over to the next legislative session by the GHMA.

  • February 28, 2019: Representative Thomas Burditt introduces HB 484, a bill to legalize retail and mobile sports betting in the Green Mountain State, to the Vermont House. It's referred to the House GHMA.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court strikes down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This gives each state the right to legalize sports betting.

  • June 8, 2017: Gov. Scott signs SB 136, legalizing DFS games.

  • May 2, 2017: The House passes SB 136 after a series of amendments.

  • March 31, 2017: SB 136 passes the Senate and moves on to the House.

  • March 21, 2017: SB 136 is introduced to the Senate. This is a wide-ranging bill protecting consumer rights but also legalizes DFS.

  • January 18, 2016: Vermont Attorney General Sorrell rules that DFS games violate existing gambling legislation and are deemed illegal.

Vermont Sports Betting Background

Vermont's anti-gambling stance dates back to just a year after the state's founding in 1779, when horse race betting was banned. More than a century later, the state allowed wagering on “trotting” (now known as harness racing) at state fairs before Act 259 to legalize pari-mutuel betting was approved by lawmakers in 1959 and added to the November 1960 ballot. Voters approved by 81,830 votes to 72,699.

The Vermont state lottery was set up in 1978 but VT had almost no association with sports betting until the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA. The demand is now clearly there with four failed attempts to legalize sports betting having been made.

Future of Vermont Sports Betting

Despite the failure of SB 77, support is rising for sports betting in Vermont following the release of the Joint Fiscal Office sports betting report in July 2022. The evidence for financial success and minimized problem gambling provided in the report, which considered the success of sports betting in New Hampshire and New York, has seen support for legalization increase in the Green Mountain State. Another attempt to pass a sports betting bill will likely launch in the 2023 legislative session.

Vermont Sports Betting Locations

There are currently no casinos in Vermont, as all forms of casino gambling are outlawed. Even when HB 484 tried to legalize retail sports betting, there was no mention of legalizing land-based casinos. As most subsequent bills have focused on an online-only launch, it seems unlikely that casinos with retail sportsbooks will open in VT soon.

You can visit Vermont’s neighbor, New York, and bet at 11 retail sportsbooks located at tribal casinos in the state. This includes some of the biggest brands in US wagering, like Caesars and FanDuel. You can also visit the two retail sportsbooks at casinos in New Hampshire, both operated by NH's exclusive sports betting provider, DraftKings.

Vermont Lottery Locations

Vermont runs a state lottery through the VT Department of Liquor and Lottery. The lottery was founded in 1978, and there are more than 590 licensed retail locations where you can buy tickets. However, there is no online lottery. Since 1998, all lottery profits have gone towards the state’s education fund. SB 77 envisioned the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery as the state’s regulator for sports betting but did not mention offering betting at lottery retailers.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

While off-track pari-mutuel betting is legal in Vermont, there are no horse race tracks or off-track betting (OTB) locations. In addition, you can’t wager at sports venues, which is unlikely to change as previous legislation has not mentioned legalizing stadium betting. The Green Mountain State also lacks any major stadiums to support a retail sportsbook.

Vermont Responsible Gambling Resources

  • National Council of Problem Gambling Vermont – Offers a variety of screening tools, resources, and directions to local treatment facilities. It also operates a 24/7 helpline and a live chat. (800) 522-4700

  • Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes meetings where problem gamblers can share their experiences. The organization also offers a free 20-question screening guide and a full recovery program. (855) 222-5542

  • GamTalk – A national 24/7 moderated peer support forum, allowing problem gamblers to chat and receive help online.

Vermont does not have a self-exclusion program as gambling is currently illegal in the state. However, national organizations can operate in Vermont freely and assist problem gamblers. If sportsbooks were permitted to launch in the state, every operator would be expected to introduce responsible gambling measures like account controls and limits.

Teams to Bet on in Vermont

  • Pro Sports

With only a population of around 650,000 people, Vermont cannot support a major league sports franchise. However, as one of the New England states, many fans get behind the Massachusetts sports teams. You’ll also find fans of franchises in other nearby states like New York.

Here are some of the most popular teams in VT:

Massachusetts New York
New England Patriots (NFL) Buffalo Bills (NFL)
Boston Celtics (NBA) New York Giants (NFL)
Boston Red Sox (MLB) New York Jets (NFL)
Boston Bruins (NHL) Brooklyn Nets (NBA)
New York Knicks (NBA)
New York Mets (MLB)
New York Yankees (MLB)
Buffalo Sabres (NHL)
New York Islanders (NHL)
New York Rangers (NHL)
  • Minor League Sports

Several minor league teams in Vermont are well-supported by local fans. The Vermont Lake Monsters used to play baseball in the New York-Penn League. However, after the reorganization of the minor leagues in 2020, the team was left out of the minor league circuit. The team now plays in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, winning its first Championship in 2021.

Vermont Green FC played its first soccer season in 2022 as a part of the USL League Two. The team has the unique aim of becoming a net-zero club while entertaining crowds of up to 2,500 at Virtue Field.

  • College Sports

Vermont Catamounts: The University of Vermont Catamounts are the only NCAA Division I team in the Green Mountain State and play in the America East Conference. The Catamounts basketball team has won eight conference championships. The ice hockey program has made it to the Frozen Four of the NCAA Tournament twice, and alums include Hall of Famer Martin St. Louis.

  • Women's Sports

Vermont Fusion Soccer: Vermont Fusion Soccer plays in the Women’s Premier Soccer League, the top amateur women’s league in the US. The team’s home ground holds up to 200 fans.

How Does Vermont Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

If Vermont opens an online sports betting market, it may look similar to its neighbors New York and New Hampshire. In these states, you can access a wide variety of markets, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. There will also likely be niche sports betting lines, including tennis, NASCAR, golf, and MMA. Both VT’s neighboring states don’t allow wagering on in-state college teams, and this rule could transfer to the Green Mountain State.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

Most of the top US operators are some of the first to go live in states launching online sports betting, so VT can expect brands like DraftKings and FanDuel to be available. These sportsbooks operate in dozens of states, delivering the same betting odds from New Jersey to Wyoming. This will give Vermont bettors access to some of the most generous betting lines in the US, with DraftKings noted for its generous moneylines on games featured in the NFL, one of its betting partners.

  • Gambling Revenue

Vermont is missing out on millions in revenue from sports betting by not legalizing it, a fact highlighted by the Joint Fiscal Office’s sports betting report. The report suggests there are four models the state could follow, listed here from least profitable to most profitable:

  • Low tax rate, few operators

  • Low tax rate, many operators

  • High tax rate, few operators,

  • High tax rate, many operators.

The high tax rates suggested in this report are 50%, whereas the low range is from 10-15%. In the first year of operation, the report estimates, the state could handle from $37,900,000 to $124,900,000. From this, the state could collect from $640,000 to $4,810,000. The report shows these numbers increasing in year two as the market matures.

Nearby New Hampshire has, from launching sports betting in December 2019 to June 2022, a betting handle of $1,448,949,479 with sportsbook revenues of $95,824,351. The tax in New Hampshire is very high at 51%, but that has brought in $44,223,202 for the state. This would reflect the ‘high tax rate, few operators’ model from the Joint Fiscal Office’s report, and is an option for the Green Mountain State.

  • Betting Taxes

Regardless of the state where you're playing, you must declare all your gambling winnings to the IRS. You must also complete a W-2G form if you win more than $600. Sportsbooks can hold up to 25% of your profits for tax purposes. Your betting winnings also must be included in your state income tax, which ranges from 3.35% to 8.75% in Vermont.

Sportsbooks must also pay a 0.25% excise tax on monthly betting handles regardless of state to follow the Internal Revenue Code. The Code requires betting brands to pay $50 for every employee involved in taking wagers.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Vermont?

Three of the four sports betting bills attempted in Vermont called for the Vermont Board of Liquor and Lottery to regulate sports betting, including in the most recent SB 77 proposal. However, the most successful legislation, SB 59, intended to create a new regulatory body.

Regardless of the regulatory body, the responsibilities will be the same. The regulator will create the rules for sports betting, establish the licensing process, and ensure every betting operator is safe. The regulatory body will also need to collect betting taxes and issue any fines for rule breaking.

FAQs

Is betting legal in Vermont?

Sports betting is not legal in Vermont. While there have been four attempts to legalize it since 2018, none have yet been successful. However, SB 59 passed the Senate in 2020, showing lawmakers are interested in legalizing wagering.

Who would govern sports betting in Vermont?

The Vermont Board of Liquor and Lottery will likely regulate sports betting if legalized in VT. However, this is still up for discussion, with some proposals envisioning an entirely new sports betting regulator.

How old would you have to be to bet in Vermont?

Most states in the US have a minimum age of 21, and previous Vermont sports betting legislation has matched this. However, the current minimum gambling age for the lottery in VT is 18 or older.

When will sports betting launch in Vermont?

The earliest sports betting can be legalized in Vermont is 2023, when the Vermont Legislature reconvenes. If any legislation passes in 2023, the state’s regulatory body will need time to create the licensing process, and sportsbooks will need to be set up in the state. A launch could come in late 2023 or 2024.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in Vermont?

The most recent sports betting bills have suggested an online-only market in Vermont so you can wager anywhere. There are no casinos in the Green Mountain State, and a retail sports wagering market is unlikely to launch.

Would sportsbooks in Vermont be safe?

Vermont sportsbooks would be safe and overseen by an official regulator. This regulator would be responsible for ensuring every betting site delivers a high standard of player safety and financial support before it can launch in the state.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Vermont?

Yes, all gamblers in the US need to pay taxes on betting winnings to the IRS. You must report any winnings over $600 by filling in a W-2G form. You also need to include your gambling winnings in your state income tax, which ranges from 3.35% to 8.75%.

Can you play DraftKings in Vermont?

No, you can’t use DraftKings Sportsbook in Vermont. However, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. You can also visit neighboring New Hampshire, where the betting site is the state’s exclusive betting operator. DraftKings is also available in New York.

Can you play FanDuel in Vermont?

You can’t use FanDuel to bet in Vermont but can play its Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. If you want to wager with the operator, you can visit New York and wager with its app. Alternatively, you can go to the retail sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino.

Can you play BetMGM in Vermont?

BetMGM is not available in Vermont because sports betting is illegal. However, BetMGM is an option for anyone visiting New York anywhere within the state's borders.

Can you play Caesars in Vermont?

You can't use Caesars Sportsbook in Vermont, as sports betting is illegal. However, Caesars is prominent in neighboring New York, with an online sportsbook and three retail betting locations.

Can you play TwinSpires in Vermont?

Yes, you can use TwinSpires to wager on horse racing online. However, the brand’s online sportsbook is not available in VT.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Vermont in the future?

No sportsbooks have declared a public interest in Vermont, but DraftKings is a favorite to launch as it operates Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in the state and is the exclusive betting partner for neighboring New Hampshire. FanDuel also runs its DFS games in VT and would likely go live.