Vermont sports betting bill nears for a Senate vote

Burlington Vermont street
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Vermont sports betting could be on the horizon now that the Senate Finance Committee has approved an amended version of the bill and sent it on to the Senate. The Senate referred the bill to the Appropriations Committee for approval, which will hopefully be the last step before a vote.

The House passed a version of the bill a little over a month ago. Since that passage occurred at the crossover deadline, there wasn’t time to debate the language, which was then ironed out once the bill made its way to the Senate.

HB127 allows for at least two but no more than six online sports betting platforms licensed through the Vermont Lottery. The minimum expected revenue share for operators is 20%.

The amended language is not available yet but is said to include $550,000 for a budget to help fund the regulation of sports betting. Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery Commissioner Wendy Knight appeared before the committee to discuss parameters around responsible gambling and ensuring the contracts would be commercially viable.

Knight assured that the contracts with operators would look to other states to ensure best practices in the sports betting agreements. She also observed that the language of the bill has parameters in place to ensure there are limits around promotional bets as well as a ban on marketing terms like “risk-free”.

Now that the bill is through committee, it could come before the Senate for a vote as early as Thursday. The last day of the legislative calendar is May 12.