Online Sports Betting Launches in Vermont
By: January 11, 2024, 11:04h.

Today, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, marks the official start of online sports betting in Vermont. Vermont is welcoming legal sports betting as of today, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. (Image: Shutterstock)

Vermont is the last of the New England states to allow this type of gambling. The sports betting launch will only be online, as retail sports betting hasn’t been approved. As of Thursday, January 11, the Green Mountain State is the 38th state to offer online sports wagering. The state with the second-smallest population opens online sports wagering with three major sportsbooks, including DraftKings, Fanatics, and FanDuel. The state has three open licenses remaining.

The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery (VDLL) is Vermont’s sports betting regulator.

“We looked at the proposals compared to the evaluation criteria,” said VDLL Commissioner Wendy Knight. “The legislature intends to prioritize selection based on protecting Vermonters from problem gambling, converting the illegal market to a legal market, and then maximizing revenue to the state.”

All operators will have revenue taxed at 20%, and Commissioner Knight is looking for the sites to generate $7 million in revenue in the first year of operations.

NFL Super Bowl is a Major Motivator

Vermont legalized sports betting during the summer, and Governor Phil Scott signed the bill into law in June. Scott said he wanted to launch in time for Super Bowl LVIII, which will be played on Sunday, February 11. The game will be played in Las Vegas, and the launch of online sports betting will keep bettors from leaving Vermont into nearby states, including Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, where sports betting is already legal.

The most bet-on game of the year has also become part of the conversation around the new 2024 push for sports betting initiatives in California. Massive sports betting revenue is likely to be had in 2027 and 2028, as Santa Clara and Los Angeles are the sites of Super Bowls in those two years. The NFL owners awarded Los Angeles and SoFi Stadium the 2028 Super Bowl just last December. While sports betting wasn’t part of the decision, it is now part of the conversation, as supporters and opponents of California sports betting ramp up their arguments.

Long Road and Long Odds

Petition signatures are now being gathered for new gambling initiatives in California, following approval by California’s secretary of state. The effort is centered around a pair of sports betting initiatives that need 874,741 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Both ballot initiatives would pave the way for Tribal entities in California to gain exclusive rights to offer sports betting both online and at physical locations. California voters have rejected similar initiatives previously, and the state’s largest Tribal casino operators oppose current efforts.

California and Texas are the nation’s two most populous states and would be the biggest prize for sports bettors. Sports betting remains illegal in those two states, as well as Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Oklahoma, Alaska, and Hawaii.

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