This is shaping up to be a big week in the sports betting industry as there could be two new states that officially legalize the industry. Vermont is looking to join North Carolina as the newest states to offer sports betting as Governor Phil Scott will be signing a bill into law.
When the signature is officially on the document, it is going to end a long process that saw lawmakers going through several rounds of debates to get a deal done. The bill officially passed through the General Assembly back in May, but it finally landed on the desk of Governor Scott.
Vermont is currently hoping to offer online sports betting as soon as January 2024, which would become a pretty aggressive undertaking. The Department of Liquor and Lottery is going to oversee the new sports betting industry, and it will be getting to work soon.
Details of the Bill
Even though the state of Vermont is the second-smallest in the country in terms of population, the lawmakers in this state believe it can be a solid sports betting market. The law allows for as many as six online sports betting operators, and at least two licenses have to be handed out.
Industry experts believe that the state could face some trouble when attracting sports betting operators as the biggest names won’t give Vermont a real shot. Since there are no casinos in the state, potential operators will be able to apply for a license directly with the Department of Liquor and Lottery.
One thing that is going to hurt the overall market is that the tax rate on sports betting revenue is set at 20%. Some operators aren’t going to want to pay that high of a tax, especially since there won’t be a ton of revenue flowing in.
Vermont is going to be charging $500,000 for an initial license, but there is a chance that the cost could rise over time. The goal is that the state will be able to generate $10 million in annual tax revenue by 2026, but it is expected to be a slow start.
A Look at the Timeline
While an official launch date is not yet set for sports betting, there is a pretty specific timeline in the sports betting bill. Other states have included a timeline when passing sports betting legislation, and Vermont wanted to follow that same formula.
The first step on the timeline is for potential operators to submit sports betting proposals to the Department of Liquor and Lottery (DLL). That is set to take place in July, and operators can then start to bid for licenses during the month of August.
It won’t be long before sports bettors in Vermont know what operators are expected to launch as bids are going to be selected and announced in September. The rest of 2023 will spent by the DLL attempting to negotiate contracts with the chosen operators.
A January launch is a part of the initial timeline, and it’s a target date that must be hit according to the language of the law.