Vermont Joins Legal Online Sports Betting Scene With Gov.’s Signature

USA Legal Betting


  • Vermont is now the 38th state plus Washington D.C. to legalize sports betting
  • A group of 21 neighboring states in the northeast U.S. have all legalized sports betting
  • North Carolina also legalized online sports betting Wednesday

Vermont is the newest state to embrace online sports betting following Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s signing of a pro-gambling bill Wednesday.

“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 in a statement. “We know many Vermonters already participate in the marketplace and bringing it above board provides important resources and consumer protections.”

Vermont was previously the only state in the northeast United States that did not have a legal sports betting market.

Making the change

Following Scott penning his signature to HB 127, 38 states plus Washington D.C. have legalized sports betting. Starting from the northeast corner of the country, South Carolina is the most northerly state that has not embraced the popular form of gambling, and Missouri is the most eastern. 

That carves out 21 of the 38 states that have passed sports betting laws on or near the eastern seaboard alone. Vermont is one of the smaller states in this region and will benefit from having a consistent source of taxable income, one that it was losing to nearby betting giants such as New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts that attracted traveling gamblers.

The Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery will serve as the regulator of the newly-created market. A minimum of two and a maximum of six sports betting operators will be allowed access to the market, and the regulator will provide a report on problem gambling rates to state officials every year.

Safeguards designed to protect the under-21 crowd during sportsbook marketing and promotions were also instituted. Wendy Knight, the commissioner of Liquor and Lottery, said that she believes her department has the ability to uphold the standards outlined in the bill and keep operators from causing trouble.

The market is expected to be ready for launch by January 2024, which will mean that Vermont locals will have the opportunity to wager on marquee events such as the Super Bowl and March Madness.

What’s to come

The bill was met with mixed feelings when first introduced and as it progressed through the legislative process. As is the case in many states debating sports betting bills, proponents argued that local illegal markets necessitated regulatory oversight and also deprived Vermont of taxable income.

Critics, meanwhile, said that legalization will lead to an increase in problem gambling. They also said they were particularly worried about the effects on younger people, who can more easily form addictive behaviors.

Vermont officials expect to recoup roughly $2 million in tax revenue the first year that the market is in operation and estimate the potential to grow to $10 million annually.

Although there are no professional sports teams in Vermont to directly entice local bettors, there are plenty of options in nearby states. The general swell of support for sports betting in the region will also give implicit motivation for bettors to try out betting platforms such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and others.

Gov. Scott is actually the second Governor to sign a sports betting bill this week. North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper also signed an online sports betting bill Wednesday that expanded wagering beyond three tribal casinos, which were previously the only places to bet on sports in the Tar Heel State.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.