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US President Abraham Lincoln once said, “If I had nine hours to cut down a tree, I would spend six hours sharpening my axe,” and the same goes for legalizing sports betting in Vermont, with lawmakers there spending years now sharpening their regulatory axes.
In 2020, the Vermont legislature established what is called the Sports Betting Study Committee, a group charged with studying multiple sports betting market models to determine which one would work best for the state of Vermont, and since then they have been sharpening that axe.
One forward step by the Committee was to hold a town hall-style hearing in which they invited state residents and business interests to voice their concerns and opinions regarding bringing the legal sports betting market to Vermont, and that feedback will help influence their decisions.
Another recent move by Vermont’s Sports Betting Study Committee (VSBSC) was to post an article on their website that breaks down the choices they are faced with making before legal sports betting market can launch there.
There are nine members of the VSBSC – the state’s Attorney General, Vermont’s liquor and lottery Commissioner, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development, the Commissioner of Taxes, and four lawmakers from the House and Senate.
This group has no doubt watched the other over thirty U.S. states go through their regulatory processes and learned from their mistakes and borrowed the things that they feel worked, and from that collective data the VSBSC has broken down the regulatory decisions it must make.
First they list the primary decision they must debate which is to choose which type of regulated market Vermont will operate – one under state control via the Lottery or one that is a licensed market that allows outside operators and platform providers to join in for an ongoing fee.
Also in the VSBSC’s report are the secondary decisions that group is faced with making before a legal sports betting market can be launched:
Looks like it will continue to be a slow grind before any actual legal sports betting ‘trees’ start getting cut and while that happens other New England states are moving forward.
Once the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in May 2018, individual states began launching their own regulated and taxed sports betting markets, and in New England that includes Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New York.
Not only is Vermont missing out on all that action, but Green Mountain resident gamblers are also taking their bets elsewhere, either by traveling to one of those neighboring states or else by using illegal bookies or unregulated offshore sportsbooks, and all that money goes out of state.
The members of VSBSC surely understand all that’s at stake financially the longer they continue to debate and hone their blades before striking, and meanwhile, an entire forest of pro and college sports leagues continues to grow and produce plenty of opportunities for legal wagers.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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