Vermont lottery signs off on sports betting regulations

Pen signing paper
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This week the Vermont Lottery approved its state sports betting procedures, laying the land for what potential operators in the state can expect if they are selected to be one of the 2-6 operators working with the lottery to launch betting in the state.

The group sought comment from potential operators and suppliers, several of which offered extensive feedback on regulations. While some of those suggestions were adopted in the final draft, others remained as is, setting some new precedents for sports betting in the United States.

Virtual sports an option for VT sportsbooks

One surprising inclusion in the final regulations is the offering of virtual sports. While some lotteries like the Pennsylvania Lottery offer virtual sports and New Jersey casinos have dabbled with virtual sports at casinos, the Vermont regulations lay out the possibility for virtual sports, which are simulated sporting events powered by a random number generator.

While virtual horse racing is alright under Vermont regulations, parimutuel wagering remains prohibited in the state, though there is the possibility for fixed odds horse racing. Vermont has also specifically stated wagers need to be on a sporting event, which would prohibit betting on things like awards shows or athletic drafts and honors.

Vermont expects more measures around credit cards and KYC

Like a growing number of states, including Kentucky, the state has specific provisions against the use of terms like “risk-free” and potentially deceptive advertising around sports betting promotions.

Vermont also appears to be taking a page out of the Massachusetts playbook and forbidding credit card deposits. Additionally, sportsbook operators with universal apps and wallets will need to be able to demonstrate that any funds stemming from a credit card are segregated and unavailable for use should a customer be within Vermont state lines.

The state is also mandating some stricter-than-expected KYC protocols. Operators must provide one of these categories of information in addition to standard KYC measures:

  • Answers to three knowledge-based authentication questions
  • Phone and email verification
  • Government ID credentials
  • Historical behavior account

Typically states don’t set such specific thresholds for how authentication is done.

Finally, something that may be of interest to the higher rollers in the state is that operators will need to display both minimum and maximum wager amounts as part of their house rules. Typically wager minimums are posted while maximums can be a bit of a mystery for bettors and often varies depending on the market or even the specific bet.

Now that regulations are set, the state can move forward with the request for proposals from potential partner operators.