After years of failure in terms of sports betting legalization, the state of Vermont has now inched forward as a new sports betting bill has found support in the House Ways & Means Committee.
Vermont sports betting bills have been considered in the Montpelier capital each year since 2018. That’s when the US Supreme Court struck down a federal law that limited single-game sports wagering to Nevada. But now, the odds of a sports gambling bill finally passing in the Green Mountain State appear better than ever.
Vermont Rep. Matthew Birong’s House Bill 127, which seeks to legalize online sportsbook operations inside the state, was introduced by the Democratic representative on 31st of January. It has been co-sponsored by six Democratic and three Republican representatives. The new measure seeks to allow online sportsbooks to operate legally in Vermont, but only individuals at least 21 years old and physically present inside the state would be able to place bets.
Earlier this week, the bill was approved by the House Ways & Means Committee. Following a reading of the bill, members of the committee tasked with finding ways to boost the state exchequer’s tax revenue approved the bill with a nearly unanimous vote.
Late last year, Republican Gov. Phil Scott announced his support for legal sports betting. When asked if he believes the state was lagging behind other states that have already legalized the activity, he said that he believed that the state would catch up eventually.
Speaking on the topic, Phil said, “I don’t know if we’re behind the times, because everyone catches up eventually. It was the same for cannabis. We heard the same argument there. But it all levels out eventually. We just want to make sure that we offer it to Vermonters and those who are coming to visit Vermont so they can do so legally.” A number of state lawmakers have officially announced their support for the measure, saying their objective is twofold. The supporters are claiming that legalizing sports betting in the state will protect consumers from participating in offshore online sportsbooks that lack player safeguards and legal remedial processes in case of any sort of disputes. They also claims that granting legal status to sports betting would prevent gaming revenue from flowing to neighboring states like New York and New Hampshire, where the controversial activity is already is permitted.