Vermont Governor Signs Sports Betting Bill Into Law, Launch Expected in January 2024
Vermont has officially legalized sports betting as Governor Phil Scott signed a bill approved by the state legislature. The move makes Vermont the 38th state to legalize sports betting and the final Northeast state to do so. The governor expressed his satisfaction with the agreement, stating that legalizing sports betting would provide resources and consumer protections.
The Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) will now proceed to secure contracts with up to six online sportsbooks, with the first expected to go live by January 2024. The timeline outlined in the bill includes issuing requests for proposals in July, bidding for licenses in August, bid evaluation and selection in September, contract negotiation and execution between October and December, and the launch of the first sports betting apps in January 2024.
Vermont faces an ambitious timeline considering its small size and lack of previous casino regulation. The state still needs to negotiate tax rates with operators, but Commissioner Wendy Knight of the DLL has expressed confidence in launching before the NFL playoffs, aiming to become operational by January 2024. Vermont will not have physical sportsbooks, and the legal age for betting will be set at 21.
The tax rates to be imposed on operators will be determined through negotiations between potential operators and the DLL, which may influence the number of sportsbooks entering the market. Lawmakers anticipate the participation of two or three sportsbooks, and the bill mandates that licensed operators contribute at least 20% of their revenue to the state. This revenue-sharing arrangement is projected to generate a minimum of $2 million in tax revenue in 2024, increasing to at least $10 million annually by 2026, according to the state Legislative Joint Fiscal Office.
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