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Vermont Looking into Possibility of Legal Sports Betting

Lawmakers in Vermont are looking into the possibility of legalized sports betting, but it could still be a few years away. Senators in Vermont recently approved the creation of a committee that will study the sports betting industry.

The committee will have specific criteria that they are looking for, but finding out the best way to tax the industry will be their major task. The committee will also explore different ways to regulate the industry by looking at some other states around the country.

Senate Bill 59 is the bill that the lawmakers are trying to get passed, and it will have its third and final reading later this week. The entire legislative body will hear the reading of the bill before an official vote is taken.

If the bill passes in the Senate, it will head over to the House for approval. The bill could be shut down in the House as some sources have indicated that the House is not looking to discuss any new bills before the group recesses at the end of June.

Lawmakers in the Senate are hopeful that the bill will be passed by June 30 so that the committee can begin their work. Sports betting in 2020 doesn’t appear likely, but it could be legalized early in 2021 if the committee has the rest of this year to study.

Desperate Times

The coronavirus pandemic has states all over the country, including Vermont, looking for new ways to bring in more revenue. Financial experts estimate that Vermont could see between $1 million and $4.2 million in tax revenue each year.

If the bill passes, then the Study Committee must submit their official report by Dec. 15. The committee will then be disbanded on Dec. 30.

There will be nine members on the committee, which will be led by the Attorney General. The Secretary of State, the Commissioner of Liquor and Lottery, and the Commissioner of Taxes will also be a part of the committee. Other state officials will make up the remaining five members of the group.

The committee will also be looking into different types of sports to offer in Vermont. Different betting options will also be discussed and will be included in their final report.

Keeping It In-House

The sports betting industry in the United States continues to grow at a rapid pace, and Vermont lawmakers want to make sure that their money stays in the state. New Hampshire recently launched sports betting, and that has drawn some Vermont residents to that state to bet on sports.

Governor Phil Scott is in support of legalizing sports betting, and he would be willing to sign any bill that ends up on his desk. Scott actually proposed sports betting in his budget proposal in January, but he did not receive much support from lawmakers.

The pandemic has caused many states to change their stance on sports betting, and that same thing is happening in Vermont. If the committee is approved by June 30, look for Vermont to go live in early 2021.

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