Vermont will soon join Kentucky on the short list of states that will be legalizing sports betting in 2023. After a lengthy path that included a trip through the House, a path through several Senate committees, some Senate amendments, and another trip back to the House, H127 was passed and is heading to Gov. Phil Scott’s desk for signature. Scott has vocally expressed his support for sports betting before, so the bill passing into law should be imminent.
The final version of the bill maintains the general outline of the bill, which is somewhere between two and six operators working with the Vermont Lottery. The Senate amendments clarified a tiered structure for licensing fees depending on how many operators are awarded a contract:
- Two operators, $412,500 per operator
- Three operators, $366,666 per operator
- Four operators, $343,750 per operator
- Five operators, $330,000 per operator
- Six operators, $320,833 per operator
Operators interested in launching in the state will need to offer at least 20% of gross gaming revenue to the state in order to be considered.
Other Senate amendments included additions related to marketing, including stipulations about not marketing at events that are not primarily composed of people over the age of 21.
Tax revenue from sports betting will go to several different ventures. The first $250,000 of revenue goes to the state’s problem gambling fund, the next $550,000 will cover the costs of operating and regulating sports in the state, and then the next $100,000 will fund the costs associated with the self-exclusion list.
The timeline to launch in Vermont was laid out in the legislation. The Department of Liquor and Lottery will put out an RFP in July, operators can submit bids in August, winners will be selected in September, and launch is planned for January 2024.
Kentucky passed a bill at the end of April and is on a similar trajectory to launch towards the end of 2023.