The Vermont Senate recently gave the go-ahead to a sports betting bill (H 127) with a voice vote. This move brings The Green Mountain State one step closer to legal sports betting after Gov. Phil Scott signs it into law.
Passed in the House of Representatives, H 127 must return to the chambers for concurrence before proceeding to the Governor's office. The passage of this bill will make Vermont the second state to allow sports betting in 2023, with the state's legislative session ending on May 12.
The legislation only allows online betting in the second-smallest state in America, with a limit of six legal sports betting sites. After receiving the bill, Governor Scott has a maximum of five days, minus Sundays, to sign or veto it. Note that the bill will automatically become law without his signature if the period elapses.
Vermont will be New England's last state to legalize sports betting and the only one to allow exclusive online betting. The other five states in the area offer both digital and retail wagering, meaning Vermonters who wish to bet in a legal sportsbook and watch the game will have to journey to Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or New York.
Since its introduction by Rep. Matthew Birong on January 31, H 127 has gone through six committees for amendments. The objective was to make responsible and problem gambling guidelines more stringent and specific to protect those under 21 and vulnerable groups.
Following the legalization of gaming in Massachusetts, with some of the strictest consumer protections, stringent advertising and marketing regulations have become popular in the United States. Vermont's digital-only system is similar to those in Tennessee and Wyoming. Legislators in the Senate and House have been working to prevent widespread advertising of bonuses and promotions through the bill.
To get sports betting licenses in the state, operators will show their advertising and marketing plans. The new bill is firmly against betting adverts targeting those under 21. The Department of Liquor and Lottery has been a part of the legislation process throughout, so enforcing these guidelines will likely be more stringent.
The House clerk stated that bills generally take a few days to get through the Vermont chambers. It is anticipated that H 127 will be returned to the House schedule for concurrence by the start of this week.