The push to legalize sports betting in states continues, with Vermont now considering an online sports betting bill. As the industry grows in the United States, states are eager to tap into the potential revenue stream. However, Vermont may need to establish a safer gaming framework before diving into sports betting.
The proposed House Bill 127, submitted by Democratic Representative Matt Birong and nine other House members, seeks to authorize internet gambling on sporting events. If passed, the Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery will regulate the industry. The bill also outlines the entry of operators into the state, with a 20% tax on their revenue and an annual fee based on the number of businesses entering the state.
Vermont plans to allow six sports betting providers in total, each required to pay an annual operation charge of $125,000 if six businesses enter the market. The legislation has gained support in the House and is now pending a decision by the Senate to send the bill to the Governor for signing into law.
Proponents argue that the bill will provide a legal alternative to the current illegal gambling market in Vermont, potentially bringing in millions in tax revenue. However, others express concerns about problem gambling and the lack of resources to address the issue. They believe Vermont should prioritize securing problem gambling resources and education before introducing online sports betting.
The proposed measure includes regulations for safer gambling, such as the creation of a Special Fund for Responsible Gaming to identify and treat gambling-related harm. Meanwhile, other states like Texas, Oklahoma, and North Carolina are also grappling with the legality and expansion of their betting sectors.