Vermont Gambling Laws

Vermont Gambling LawsLike Utah, Hawaii and Alaska, gambling in Vermont is subject to some of the strictest gambling laws in the United States. For example, Vermont State Statutes don’t allow for casinos-of-any-kind.

The Vermont State Lottery sells scratch-off tickets, lotto tickets and offers video monitors in convenience stores. Horse racing is legal in Vermont with no tracks-in-operation, however, off-track betting occasionally takes place in taverns.

Check-out the table below for Vermont’s legal standing on betting on sports, gambling online, online casino play etc. check out the table below

Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting No No
Casinos No No
Fantasy Sports (DFS) N/A Yes
eSports No No
Poker Yes No
Horse-Racing Yes Yes
Lottery Yes No
Charitable-Gambling Yes No

Sports Betting Laws in Vermont

Any future at all for Vermont Sports Betting is tied to developments at the Federal level. In the spring of 2018, the state of New Jersey won its legal court challenge against the Federal nationwide ban of betting-on-sports.

The Supreme Court decision thereby freed up Vermont and the legislators in the Green Mountain State, and granted them the ability to decide for themselves if they would prefer to take up legal sports betting or not.

Sports Betting in Vermont

Unfortunately, Vermont’s lawmakers have not yet found it in themselves to rule in favor of legal sports betting in the state. No legal Vermont sports betting options currently exist and it does not appear that Vermont sports betting will be introduced at any in the near future.

Vermont legislators have previously introduced bills to the State House to explore the possibilities of overall gambling expansion. However, following the comprehensive defeat of bill H.186, (which would have created the Vermont Gaming Commission to license, regulate and oversee sports betting and other gambling activities), there have been no serious attempts to legalize sports betting.

The gaming laws of Vermont are not conducive to sports betting and State Statute § 2133 that makes it an offense to play “cards, dice, tables or other game for money or other valuable in a common gambling house…” has set the tone. In an environment where gambling debts are considered unenforceable and people can actually sue to recover gambling losses, legal sports betting could take a while.

Sports bettors in Vermont do have legal betting options in the form of horse and greyhound racing and DFS, where they can test their sports betting skills without fear of breaking any state laws.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Vermont?

Vermont is currently an online sports betting-free zone.

Vermont state statutes make no mention of online gambling, meaning that additional legislation would need to be passed before the state could permit sports betting online.  To date, there have been no attempts to alter the legal situation for online sports betting.

The great news for online sports bettors is the set precedent in Vermont for sports bettors to place bets online for horse and greyhound racing or online DFS competitions.

The precedent means placing a future legal bet in Vermont on the Patriots, Celtics or Red Sox is not out of the question.

Casinos in Vermont

There are no commercial or tribal casinos in Vermont, however, there has been a precedent for the state’s lawmakers to legalize land-based casinos.

In 2013, State Legislators introduced H.93  to legalize one land-based casino in the Green Mountain State. Had it passed the State House vote, H.93 would have granted the Lottery Commission the authority to issue just one license. If approved, the licensing fee would have been $5 million straight into the state’s consolidated revenue stream.

Despite the bill being defeated, there is some solace in knowing that there has been previous taste-for-change in the State Legislature before that may resurface.

Online Casinos in Vermont

In addition to the abovementioned attempt to legalize land-based casinos, Vermont also has some history in attempting to legalize different types of online gambling.

In the Green Mountain State in 2013, Bill H-0781 was proposed for the purpose of providing additional funding for the operations of the Vermont State Government. Part of the bill was an order that the Vermont Lottery Commission fall in line with some of the neighboring states and at least study the option of selling lottery tickets online.

Again, the bill was not successful in gaining enough votes to pass into law in Vermont. However, it is evidence enough that the state has some inclination and the existing democratic process to facilitate change for the acceptance of online gaming.

Therefore, for the time being at least, online players in Vermont are recommended to participate in LEGAL real money online betting games ONLY (i.e. Currently DFS and Horse and Greyhound Racing). Online players in the Green Mountain State should refrain from participating in play in ANY online casinos (either U.S. based online casinos or off-shore sites) until state legislators decide on a pathway of legalization for online casinos in Vermont.

Horse Racing Betting in Vermont

Ironically, wagering at racetracks is one of the only legal forms of gambling in Vermont and the state’s last live track closed in 1991. Horse and Greyhound racing can only be conducted online in Vermont.

Track Side: Racetrack betting in Vermont is legal, but no live racetracks exist in the state.

Off-Track Betting (OTB) in Vermont

No legal network of OTB branches exists in the state of Vermont.

Online Betting on Horse Racing in Vermont: Interestingly, Horse Racing Betting online incongruously is somehow not subject to the Vermont State Statute § 2141 that officially makes it a crime to win or lose money by gambling in the state.

Therefore, Horse Racing Betting Online is readily and legally available to residents of Vermont. Available online racebooks are all user friendly and easy to access online betting can be undertaken directly from your tablet, phone, other mobile device or home computer.

Online horse racing betting sites to visitors and residents of Vermont offer attractive odds on thoroughbred racing in the U.S. and all major horse racing venues worldwide.

Vermont Daily Fantasy Sports Law

U.S. Federal lawmakers have uniformly decided that Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions are not reckoned to be gambling. Federal Law has defined DFS to not be games of random chance, but much on the other hand, DFS is considered to be a game by which a player’s skill and learning is the primary factor in determining the result.

Excitingly, major DFS sites are now all legally accepting players from the state of Vermont for their real money competitions given the State Governor passing bill S.136 into law in June 2017. The bill provided a number of protections for consumers and operators;

  • Minimum age of 18 to participate in DFS.
  • Sports officials and athletes prohibited from participating in contests involving their sport(s)
  • The use of computer scripts to gain an edge over other players is prohibited.
  • Family members of DFS employees, and employees themselves prohibited from playing.
  • DFS sites must keep player funds in a separate account.
  • DFS sites must submit to annual independent audits.
  • DFS sites must register with the State of Vermont and pay an annual registration fee of $5,000 under Section 4 Act 70 (2017).

What is a DFS competition?

Despite being played by millions, many people still have not encountered Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) before.

It’s not a difficult concept to understand, just exciting, new and different. DFS is loosely based on the season-long fantasy contests that tens of millions of people play each year (available in MMA, MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA, PGA Golf and NCAA football and basketball). The NFL is perhaps the most popular of the DFS competitions.

In season-long fantasy competition, you and a group of other people (usually friends or work colleagues) pick teams of players. Your team accumulates points based on your selected players’ statistics over the course of a season. The competition winner is the person who drafts the collection of players with the most points whilst staying within their salary cap.

DFS is akin to the season long contests, however, reduced back to a single day or sometimes a week maximum. However, in DFS, you could be playing against millions of people who all ‘pay to play’, not a few friends.

The huge prize money on offer is funded from the money earnt from each of the millions of player’s minimal entry fees of a few dollars for each competition.

Winners of any one of the DFS games (daily, weekly or season-long DFS competitions) can possibly receive as much as $1 million for each DFS competition.

Poker Laws in Vermont

The only form of Live Poker possible for play in the State of Vermont is by charitable gambling. There are a number of set rules (types of charity organizations allowed, prize limits, pay limits for workers etc.) for charitable gaming in the Green Mountain State and they are set out as law under State Statute § 2143.

Online Poker Laws in Vermont

Online Poker is considered to be illegal in Vermont. See above sections ‘Online Sports Betting in Vermont’ and ‘Online Casinos in Vermont’ and for further explanation on online gambling laws in the state.

Vermont eSports Betting

As a ‘next generation’ category of sports betting, eSports betting, once legalized, will evolve quickly in the State of Vermont into a trusted and ‘family-friendly’ form of betting that does not have an unclear illegal history.

‘eSports’ explained

eSports, (i.e. ‘competitive gaming’), takes part in popular multi-player online video games like Rocket League, Fortnite, Halo and others. As the fastest single growth area in worldwide sports betting, the amount outlaid on eSports globally is expected to top $1 billion annually in 2018-19.

With its roots in the not widely known LAN gaming communities of the late ‘90s and early 2000s, mainstream sports respectability of eSports has followed. Players take part for slickly-run professional teams competing in global tournaments that offer big prize money and are attended by huge crowds in full stadiums and watched by millions of viewers online.

A wildly successful gambling scene has developed in eSports, with a full range of international bookmakers framing betting markets on the major network of global eSports tournaments.

Look for eSports betting markets to be included as some of the first legal betting markets framed by legal Vermont sportsbooks soon after sports betting laws inevitably pass the Vermont State Legislature.

What Legal Gambling Could Mean for Vermont

  • Limited casino gambling in Vermont could produce benefits such as stopping residents from going to other jurisdictions to play and keep much needed money in the Vermont economy.
  • The Vermont state budget could provide more money by taxing gambling and funding important state issues like education funding, aged care, fire departments and other key goodwill causes.
  • Gambling can bring extra economic benefits to Vermont as the state is geographically positioned to draw millions of additional tourism dollars through the activity.
  • When different forms of betting are legalized in Vermont it should assist in developing other sectors of the young and expanding gambling industry. For example, if gamblers head to a legal Vermont Tribal Casino to place a legal bet on the New England Patriots, they might stick around to have a meal, a few drinks and may even place a legal bet on the horses or legally play some poker.

Vermont Gambling History

1963-77; Horse Racing betting available at Green Mountain Race Track until greyhounds took over at the facility.

1977-95; Legal greyhound racing at Green Mountain Race Track.

1978; Vermont State Lottery begins. In 1985, the state joined New Hampshire and Maine to form the first joint state U.S. lottery.

2011 to Present; Ongoing annual legislative attempts to bring one legal commercial casino to Vermont.

2017; By passing bill S.136 into law, DFS is legalized in Vermont.



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