A committee studying how Vermont could institute sports betting has recommended the state start with at least two operators and a revenue-sharing model that would guarantee Vermont 20 percent of proceeds.
At a public meeting Tuesday, the Vermont Sports Betting Study Committee continued discussing its recommendations for a bill in the next legislative session.
Committee member Sen. Dick Sears said the panel has yet to settle on what kind of wagering should be allowed, including whether bets should only be placed in person or be allowed online as well.
“I would really hope that there would be an actual look at whether or not Vermont should,” said Sears. “If we do this first, a second step would be actual physical locations.”
New York, New Hampshire and Rhode Island have legalized online sports gambling and are reaping revenue from taxes on wagers. The committee voted to recommend a revenue share model with a minimum of 20 percent of the proceeds going to the state. The committee also recommended have at lease two operators and no more than six.
In March, state lawmakers sat out a vote on the sports book bill filed during the past legislative session, but the committee thinks a new one could help increase much-needed revenue for the state.
If legislation is passed, the state will likely have a smaller number of online sports books starting next fall because of its older demographic and lack of a professional sports team.
Andrew Winchell, director of Government Affairs at FanDuel, said with four or five sports book operators and a tax rate similar to those in other states, “Vermont will generate over $32 million over five years.”
Regardless of the revenue model, some Vermonters say they want to sports betting to be legal. “It would be really nice to be able to do that here in Vermont,” said Wendy Maze, a Shelburne resident and “a huge Patriots fan.”
The committee will continue to meet every Tuesday through November 15th, and will consult New Hampshire lottery and sports betting next week.