Vermont: The New Era of Legal Sports Betting

Vermont, known for its picturesque landscapes and rich history, has a conservative approach to gambling. Unlike many states where sports betting has become a significant revenue source, Vermont maintained stringent regulations on gambling activities. This all changed as of January 11, 2024, when Vermont legalized sports betting for certain operators.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Vermont?

Yes, Sports Betting became legal in Vermont as of January 11, 2024.

History of Vermont Sports Betting

Historically, Vermont maintained a cautious stance towards gambling, with limited forms of betting allowed. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) once prohibited sports betting in most U.S. states, including Vermont. However, this began to change after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PASPA in May 2018, opening the door for states to legalize sports wagering.

Despite this shift, Vermont was slow to embrace sports betting. The turning point in Vermont's journey came as neighboring states began to legalize and reap the economic benefits of sports betting. Seeing potential revenue and increased consumer demand, Vermont lawmakers started to warm up to the idea. Detailed studies and committees were formed to explore the best practices for regulation, responsible gambling measures, and the economic impact of sports betting.

After years of deliberation and learning from the experiences of other states, Vermont finally passed legislation to legalize sports betting. In June of 2023, the Governor signed a bill legalizing sports betting. Then, on Dec 12, 2023 the Governor and head of the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery issued a press release stating that online sports betting is to launch on January 11, 2024 with certain operators.

Vermont Online Sports Betting

The Vermont government selected 3 operators to launch sports betting in the state. These three are FanDuel, Draftkings, and Fanatic Sportsbook.

Safeguards By Vermont

The government included certain safeguards for sports betting in Vermont. This includes limiting sports betting to those who are 21 years and older. Not permitting credit cards to be used for betting. Not allowing any bets on Vermont collegiate sports unless they are in a tournament. Not permitting betting on sports where the players are primarily under the age of 18. Lastly, not allowing operators to describe bets as free bets unless they are in fact free.

Community and Economic Impact for Vermont

The introduction of mobile sports betting in Vermont is anticipated to generate up to $7 million in revenue in its first year, with predictions of more than $16 million in 5 years. This revenue will support various state programs and initiatives, contributing to Vermont's overall economic health. Moreover, the emphasis on consumer protection and responsible gambling ensures a balanced approach to this new market, with measures like age restrictions, annual reports on problem gambling, and mandatory responsible gaming plans from operators.

Sports in Vermont

The history of sports in Vermont is rich and diverse, with certain sports having a particularly strong tradition in the state. One notable aspect of Vermont's sports history is its significant contribution to the world of collar and elbow wrestling during the late 1800s. Henry Moses Dufur, from Richford, was a prominent figure in this sport, known for his wrestling prowess and for participating in high-profile matches. This period saw Vermont dominate collar and elbow wrestling, with many champions hailing from the state, especially Franklin County.

The sport was characterized by a specific starting position, which involved grabbing the opponent's arm near the elbow and shoulder, near the collar, leading to a more strategic and less aggressive form of wrestling compared to other styles that were popular at the time.

Skiing also has a deep-rooted history in Vermont, with significant developments occurring in the early 20th century. The introduction of skis to Vermont and the broader New England region is credited to individuals like Fred Garey of Thetford and Fred H. Harris of Brattleboro, who were instrumental in popularizing skiing in the area. The sport gained momentum with the establishment of the Dartmouth Outing Club and the Green Mountain Club, which played a crucial role in organizing skiing activities and events. The construction of the first rope tow in 1934 on Clint Gilbert’s farm in Woodstock marked a pivotal moment in skiing history, making Vermont a key player in the skiing world.

In Vermont, college sports, particularly at the NCAA Division I and II levels, are quite popular. The Vermont Catamounts, competing in the America East Conference, and the Saint Michael’s Purple Knights, part of the NE-10 Conference, are prominent teams. Vermont does not have major professional sports teams, but college sports offer a vibrant scene for sports enthusiasts in the state.

Future of Sports Betting in Vermont

As of now, the 3 operators that are mentioned will be the primary way for sports betting to occur in Vermont. The future could include more operators and more relaxed safeguards for residents. 

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