A sports betting study bill in Vermont took its first step to passing.

  • Senate Bill 59 that would create a Vermont sports betting study committee has made some progress in the Senate passing through its first hearing.
  • The sports betting market in Vermont estimates annual revenue up to over $4 million yearly if the activity was legalized.

MONTPELIER, Vt. – On Tuesday, the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs passed Senate Bill 59 which would authorize a committee to be created to study sports betting in Vermont.

The bill will now move to the Senate Committee on Appropriations to be heard. Vermont’s General Assembly reconvened Monday after a 10-day pause due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The hearing for VT S 59 was done by conference call.

Vermont Senate Bill 59

Vermont Senate Bill 59 is not new as it was originally introduced to the General Assembly in January 2019. It saw no progress in 2019 but has now received its first pass through in a Senate Committee.

The bill is three pages in length and goes over what lawmakers would like to be studied in terms of the sports betting market and how it would relate to Vermont.

The documents within VT S 59 are specific to what it wants from a committee that is to be created for the purposes of the study.

It asks that the members be the Attorney General or a designee, the Commissioner of Liquor and Lottery or a designee, the Commissioner of Taxes or a designee, the Secretary of State or a designee and the Secretary of Commerce and Community Development.

It is requested that the members of the committee go over various sports betting models that have been implemented by surrounding states to find which would be best suited for Vermont and a potential sports betting market.

Laws, taxes, and regulations would all be factors that would need further information to come up with a proper plan that would allow the legalization of gambling on sporting events to be a profitable revenue stream for the Green Mountain State.

If this Senate Bill comes to pass, the new committee could begin their study in July. All findings must be finished by December 15 and submitted to the state for review.

December 30 would mark the final day that the committee would exist according to the bill.

The proposal maintains that Vermont could see sports betting revenue in the range of $1.1 million to $4.2 million annually from legalizing the activity. VT S 59 would need to pass through both the House and the Senate before the study could begin.

If it did, a possible law to make gambling on sports matchups legal in the Green Mountain State could be seen during the 2021 session. The General Assembly will adjourn for the year on May 8 giving the bill less than two months to pass or fail.

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