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BETTING

Mobile Sports Betting Goes Live in Vermont

Vermont Catamounts Cheer Squad Ncaa Men's Basketball Tournament
The Vermont Catamounts cheer squad performs during the 2019 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament between the Vermont Catamounts and the Florida State Seminoles. Maddie Meyer/Getty Images/AFP

Vermont became the final New England State to launch mobile sports betting when the three online operators opened for business just after midnight on Thursday.

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No nationwide handle or revenue records will be broken in Vermont as it is the least populated state except for Wyoming. However, the Green Mountain State now has a revenue stream that it didn’t before, and two of its three online books, DraftKings and FanDuel, are the heaviest hitters in the industry while the third, Fanatics, is the most aggressive new player in the market.

Vermont will forever have the distinction of being the first state to launch in 2024, and it came at the right time as the NFL playoffs are kicking off while March Madness is only a few months away. Sports bettors love nothing more than the Super Bowl and the men’s national college basketball tournament, which means Vermont will generate revenue from those events.

Big Expectations

Estimates are that Vermont sports betting will deliver approximately $7 million to the state in its first year, and the revenue will likely grow thereafter as more people become accustomed to it and advertising takes hold. The early favorite to win the greatest market share of the three mobile platforms is Boston-based DraftKings, as the New England states have shown to be provincial when it comes to patronizing the local sportsbook.

Matt Kalish, president, of DraftKings North America, said in a press release, “As a Boston-based company, we are thrilled for the opportunity to further expand in the New England region and provide Vermont with access to safe and legal sports betting. This is an exciting time of year with the NFL Playoffs about to kick off, and Vermonters will now have the opportunity to engage with their favorite sports on our industry-leading DraftKings Sportsbook app.”

What’s the Law Say?

Governor Phil Scott signed Vermont’s sports betting bill, H.127, on June 14, 2023, paving the way for its launch nearly seven months later. At the time of the signing, Governor Scott said in a prepared statement, “I first proposed Vermont legalize sports betting several years ago and I’m happy the Legislature has come to an agreement, as well. We know many Vermonters already participate in the marketplace and bringing it above board provides important resources and consumer protections.”

The principal regulatory authority for sports betting in the state is the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery. Adults age 21 or over are allowed to wager and there are no retail sportsbooks in the state. There is also no betting on in-state colleges or universities unless it is a postseason tournament. Funding sportsbook accounts via credit card is not allowed.

The licensing and fiscal policies are as follows:

  • Online sportsbooks: Vermont initially planned to issue between two and six online sportsbook licenses via a competitive bidding process which DraftKings, FanDuel, and Fanatics were ultimately approved.
  • License fee: A $500,000 fee is required for the initial license.
  • Revenue tax: Operators will be subject to a 20% tax on revenue.
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