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Go to Vermont if you enjoy watching the autumn leaves change color but don’t go if you want to put five bucks on the New England Patriots to beat the Chicago Bears on the next Monday Night Football because (sadly) sports betting is still against the law in the Green Mountain State.
Vermont is one of the 14 remaining U.S. states that has not chosen to legalize, regulate, and tax its own sports betting market, now allowable ever since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018 and handed that choice over to the individual states, of which over thirty have done so.
Not Vermont, though, at least not yet, and the agency in charge of studying that possibility – it’s called the Vermont Sports Betting Study Committee (VSBSC) – just explained what is taking so long for them to move forward on creating a bill that lawmakers might vote upon.
Last week, Wendy Knight, VSBSC chairperson, admitted to the media that her committee was still stuck on a basic aspect of this process:
We have not yet decided whether to recommend only online gaming, retail, or both. I think those questions need to be addressed first before we can really understand whether we want to recommend an existing administrative structure or a new administrative structure.
No doubt, but meanwhile the rest of New England has begun to move forward.
Lots of retired New Englanders retreat to Vermont – outsiders who move there are called ‘flatlanders’ by the locals – but now there is an opposite traffic flow of sports betting Vermonters traveling out of state to take advantage of one of the many legal markets now surrounding them.
For example, it’s legal to place sports wagers in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island and in Massachusetts it is just a matter of time once regulators get it set up there, so Green Mountain bettors are using those sportsbooks to place much of their gambling action.
All that handle is flowing out of state and Vermont lawmakers are likely aware of the missed opportunity to tax the revenue of that market and direct those funds toward wherever they are needed, an income stream that is being enjoyed by all those other New England states.
According to chairperson Knight, the main issue that is stalling the VSBSC – whether to offer just mobile or retail or both options for placing legal sports bets – is a choice every other of the thirty-plus U.S. sports betting markets had to make, and the answer has usually been ‘both.’
Vermont lawmakers are off duty right now so no forward motion on this issue is expected until they are scheduled to convene again which begins on January 4, 2023, and runs until May 5, four months to debate over the best way to provide state sports gamblers with a safe market.
Since the U.S. legal sports betting markets started launching, they have generated a $152B handle equated to $11B in sportsbook revenue and $1.7B in tax revenue for the states, welcoming money for a country still financially recovering from the worldwide pandemic.
Vermont will most likely join in the sports betting fun soon enough so keep checking back for all the latest news and updates.
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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