Vermont to Reconsider Approving Sports Betting

Vermont officials see Vermont dollars heading to other states with legal sports betting. They also see how keeping that money in-state could produce up to $10 million a year for the general fund.

Vermont’s legislature is giving sports betting another chance. Upward of $10 million a year in potential tax revenues for the general fund is something sure to heighten interest.

Past proposals never got anywhere, but this time they seem serious, as lawmakers prepare to come up with fees and a tax structure, as well as develop regulations. A report from the nonpartisan Joint Fiscal Office came up with the revenue figure the state could earn, according to WCAX.

“Different models yield different favorability with the industry, with my colleagues, and with the public,” said State Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale, D-Chittenden County.

The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery would regulate the industry and come up with age limits, licensing operators, and setting limits on the amounts and numbers of bets.

“Right now, we are investigating an illegal gambling operation in Vermont where the players have lost tens of thousands of dollars. That wouldn’t happen in a regulated sports betting market,” said Wendy Knight, the department’s commissioner.

Another question that lawmakers need to address is problem gambling and addiction.

“This is a social proposition that we have to take very seriously,” Representative Tom Stevens, D-Waterbury said.

Supporters hope it becomes law next year.

Just like Vermont’s cannabis industry, lawmakers have been tackling similar questions of revenue, regulation, and education, and some believe legalization will make it easier to cross over the finish line next year.