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Scott signs legislation legalizing mobile sports wagering

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(The Center Square) – Vermont residents will soon be able to place mobile sports wagers.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott signed House Bill 127 on Wednesday, authorizing the state’s Department of Liquor and Lottery to allow up to six companies to operate online wagering platforms for residents aged 18 and over.

“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 now joins many other states who have made this move.”

According to a fiscal note attached to the bill, the Joint Fiscal Office set a $2 million revenue estimate for the bill in fiscal year 2024, and fiscal year 2025 could see anywhere between $4.6 million and $10.6 million.

Under the fiscal note, $250,000 is appropriated in fiscal year 2024 from the Sports Wagering Enterprise Fund to the state’s Department of Mental Health to create and run a problem gambling program. For initial costs, the bill directs $550,000 from the wagering enterprise funds to start the program prior to fees being collected.

Additionally, according to the note, $100,000 from the wagering enterprise fund will be used by the Agency of Digital Services for a self-exclusion program. The bill would also collect an initial $550,000 in operator fees. Those funds may not be assessed more than once in a 3-year period.

The law directs the Department of Liquor and Lottery to establish minimum standards for regulating sports wagering via contracts with operators and have regulatory authority over the sector of the industry. The department also creates revenue-sharing agreements with operators.

With Scott’s signature on the bill, 38 states have approved mobile sports wagering. Mobile sports wagering is legal in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Maine is considering legislation on the issue.

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