When you think about Vermont, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Well, for some of you it is likely snow and ski hills. For others, perhaps you are driven to think of the wildly socialist Senator Bernie Sanders. One thing you probably don’t think about when thinking of the northeastern state is gambling. This is no surprise – this isn’t a state known for casinos and such. It actually has a pretty conservative look at gambling law, which we will outline on this page.
Sports Betting in Vermont
Even though sports betting is all the rage in the news cycles these days, Vermont does not seem to have jumped on the bandwagon. Today, sports betting is illegal in the state, as it was for all states not named Nevada until May 2018. That is when the Supreme Court repealed the law prohibiting sports betting, leaving it to the state governments to decide if they wanted it in their states. Many eastern states like New Jersey and Delaware jumped on the idea of regulated sports betting, but for now, Vermont has shown no signs of wanting to get involved.
As for daily fantasy sports, Vermont decided to move forward with a bill that would regulate that industry in 2017. Today, those businesses are considered to be legal and have to pay taxes on revenues coming from Vermont residents. This also allows Vermont to have some oversight in case of any scandals like what happened in 2015 with cheating players.
Online Sports Betting
Now, just because sports betting isn’t regulated in Vermont doesn’t mean that residents can’t place bets – it just means there are no legal places to bet. For over twenty years, a series of online sportsbooks based in Latin America have filled the void in Vermont, giving players a chance to make deposits and bet on their favorite teams. While the names have changed over the years, there are still many options for players to choose from. None of them are legally authorized to do so and this offers no protection for players. Therefore we strongly advise that Vermont residents do not bet with offshore sportsbooks.
Horse Betting in Vermont
Here is an interesting one for you to think about – pari-mutuel betting is legal in Vermont, but there are no racetracks hosting horse or dog races. Maybe it is because the state is so small in population that it doesn’t make sense to open a track, or perhaps people just travel to a neighboring state to watch the ponies. Whatever the reason, the good news is that you can bet on races.
While there are no tracks now, there was once a horse track and a dog track in the state. Both have since closed, and with no off-track betting facilities, there is no place for anyone to place a pari-mutuel bet live in Vermont.
Online Horse Betting
The lack of betting facilities for horse racing can be a frustration for Vermont residents, but thankfully this is where the internet comes in handy. Several firms that are licensed in other states are open for business for folks from Vermont. All you have to do is look up a site like Twinspires, create and fund an account, and you are…off to the races! Many of the tracks provide streaming of the races in real time so you can get the feel of being at the track while sitting on your couch. For the time being, this is the only way you can place a bet on a horse race from within the Vermont borders.
Casino Gambling in Vermont
Vermont is one of the few states in the country that still have a ban on casinos. Again, we aren’t entirely sure why the government continues to be this conservative about casino gambling – most residents that want to place bets can travel to a nearby casino in another state. It is entirely possible that with the new discussions about sports betting, a follow-up conversation on the state of casino legislation could take place, but we don’t think this will happen anytime soon.
Online Casinos in Vermont
Another alternative for people in Vermont who want to play some slot machines or table games but don’t feel like driving all the way to a casino is the world of online casinos. This industry has been around since the start of personal internet connections (back to 1996) and has continued to grow despite the challenges faced by operators accepting players from the United States. Similarly to sports betting, there is no law in Vermont preventing people from registering at these offshore site to play but that does not mean that they should. Offshore online casinos are unregulated and there is no control of the fairness of the games. Moreover you are not certain to be paid your winnings if you hit at jackpot so why risk it?
Lottery in Vermont
Even a conservative state understands the value of having a charitable lottery system, and Vermont is no different in this regard. The Vermont Lottery was established in 1976 (there were rogue lottery games before that) and proceeds from the lottery games goes to support projects in the state. Players are able to access massive jackpots like the ones generated in Mega Millions, which has turned many people into multi-millionaires overnight. There is also a wide range of local draw games and scratch tickets all of which are available at retailers around the state.
Vermont Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Vermont?
Sports betting is not legal in Vermont, but Daily Fantasy Sports are. The state decided to get in front of any controversy about DFS early on, and in 2017 passed legislation that would allow the sites to operate legally. This is also a way to get some tax revenue from companies like DraftKings and Fanduel, who had previously been taking deposits and action from Vermont residents with no responsibility.
When will sports betting be legal in Vermont?
Well, this is an interesting question to answer. The knee-jerk reaction would be to say that it is going to be a long time before sports betting is regulated in Vermont. However, given the fact that they focused on Daily Fantasy Sports shows that they aren’t just burying their heads in the sand regarding gambling. Also, with states all around them likely to pass bills in 2019, the pressure will be on the Vermont government to take a position on the topic. While the state is definitely conservative when it comes to gambling laws in general, we actually think that Vermont could make a move on this by the end of 2019, and we could see our first legal sports bet in 2020.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Vermont?
At the moment there is no legal online sportsbook in the state of Vermont so we can only use generalities: the best sportsbook is the one that makes you feel the most comfortable as a user. This could come down to many factors, but for us, it really boils down to which user interface works the best for the end user. This includes which sites have the best mobile interfaces. Until Apple and Google allow real-money online sportsbook apps, players have to use the HTML-based browser versions. The best sites are the ones that have dedicated time and resources to their mobile product, as many people are turning to their phone to make bets instead of using their PC.