Vermont has become the latest US state to legalize sports betting after Governor Phil Scott signed a bill into law.
House Bill 127 was introduced earlier this year and passed through the state’s House and Senate before landing on Scott’s desk last week.
Scott, a long-term supporter of sports betting, signed off on the bill yesterday (June 14), clearing the way for the market to open next year.
“I first proposed Vermont legalize sports betting several years ago and I’m happy the legislature has come to an agreement, as well,” Scott said. “We know many Vermonters already participate in the marketplace and bringing it above board provides important resources and consumer protections.
“Vermont now joins many other states who have made this move, and I want to thank Commissioner [Wendy] Knight and her team, as well as members of the legislature for their collaborative approach on this issue.”
January 2024 launch
HB 127 sets out plans for the state’s regulated market to launch in January 2024, with up to six online sportsbooks to go live in Vermont.
The state’s Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL) will take charge of the process for awarding contracts to offer sports betting. A timeline in the bill said this will begin next month with the issuing of requests for proposals to potential operators.
Operators will be able to bid from August, with the DLL to evaluate and select winning bids in September. The DLL will finalize the contracts before the end of the year, ahead of the planned market opening in January.
Those operators that are successful with their bids will face a tax rate of 20% on revenue in the state. Players must be at least 21 years of age to place legal bets.
Growing US market
News of the bill signing came as North Carolina yesterday also legalized sports betting, after Governor Roy Cooper signed House Bill 347 into law.
The path to legalization has been winding, with the bill having been voted through by the state’s House last week, after it passed the Senate one week prior.
It was first introduced on March 13. The bill in its final form was presented to the Governor on June 9.
North Carolina must publish regulations for online sports betting by January 8 2024. The state must also authorize sports betting operators to begin accepting wagers on 14 June 2024 – exactly one year from the bill’s signing.