Vermont Casinos & Gambling

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Gambling in Vermont

Vermont isn’t capable of sustaining a huge land-based gambling industry, so the number of live gambling options available to the locals isn’t all that impressive despite the rather liberal regulations. The state doesn’t have any casinos or racetracks, so if you want to try regulated gambling within the borders of the state your best bet would be to go for charitable gambling events or the state-operated lottery. Vermont doesn’t have its own iGaming industry, but local gambling enthusiasts are pretty much free to play on any offshore sites they want.

Casinos in Vermont

If you want some delicious ice cream, a visit to the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury is a must. If you’re craving excellent maple syrup, any town in Vermont can hook you up – the sixth smallest state in America produces 47% of the country’s maple syrup. But if you like gambling, Vermont is not the place for you.

There are no casinos in Vermont, and the legislature’s efforts to legalize a single commercial casino introduced by former Rep. Ron Hubert in 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 never got out of committee.

The state of Vermont recognizes four tribal organizations within its borders. However, none of them are in the group of 566 tribes that have received federal recognition, which means they lack the gaming privileges granted by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Section 2133 of the Vermont Criminal Code reads:

“A person who plays at cards, dice, tables or other game for money or other valuable in a common gaming or gaming house that is maintained for lucre and gain, shall be fined not more than $200 or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both.”

There is no ambiguity or wiggle room when it comes to social gambling.

Unsurprisingly, there are no online casinos in Vermont.

Vermont Sportsbooks & Sports betting

Sports betting is illegal in Vermont, and no one in the state government expects that to change anytime soon.

Following the Supreme Court’s ruling that threw the issue of legal sports betting back to the states, Governor Phil Scott stated: “That’s not the answer to Vermont’s fiscal issues.”

Danny Rachek, executive director of the Vermont Lottery, said: “I don’t know anyone who is pushing for this.”

There is no pending legislation addressing sports betting, and none is planned for the future.

Fantasy sports gambling

Daily fantasy sports is one of the few ways you can legally spend your gambling dollars in the state of Vermont. DFS companies were legalized and regulated by Section 4 of Act 70 in 2017.

The regulation requirements for DFS companies operating in Vermont are:

  • Register with the Secretary of State
  • Pay an annual $5,000 fee
  • Player funds and operating funds must be kept separate
  • Employees of DFS operators and their relatives are barred from participation
  • All players must be at least 18 years old

Animal racing

Horse racing is legal in Vermont, but the last of the racecourses that hosted live racing closed years ago. There are also no off-track betting locations in the state, so if betting the ponies is your thing, this is not the state for you.

Live greyhound racing, simulcasting, and pari-mutuel wagering on greyhounds have been illegal since 1995.

Vermont Poker Games

There are no poker rooms in Vermont, and commercial poker games are illegal. Current law offers no exceptions for home poker games, but there are also no reports of any legal action being taken against home poker games that don’t take a rake.

Vermont laws do not specifically address online poker, largely because the laws on the books are believed to provide an all-encompassing ban on all gambling, regardless of the means.

Lottery

Vermont runs a lottery that has been operating since 1977.

Profits from the lottery go to fund state education. Along with scratch-off tickets and Fast Play instant win games, the following draw games are on offer:

  • Pick 3
  • Pick 4
  • Gimme 5
  • Megabucks
  • Lucky for Life (multi-state)
  • Mega Millions (multi-state)
  • Powerball (multi-state)

Winning lottery tickets must be cashed in within 365 days. Winners of over $600 receive a W-2G tax form from the state.

All persons must be at least 18 years old to purchase a Vermont Lottery ticket.

Bingo

Charitable bingo is legal in Vermont, with qualified non-profit organizations able to petition the Vermont Department of Liquor Control for a bingo license. Proof of non-profit status by way of a 501C1 or 501C3 is required at the time of application.

The following regulations must be followed when hosting charitable bingo:

  • No more than two games per week
  • Bingo can be hosted on three consecutive days twice a year as long as those three-day bingo events are separated by at least 90 days
  • $15,000 may be spent annually to pay the wages of bingo operators
  • A $1,000 prize may be offered once a day, and a $5,000 prize may be offered once a month
  • All players must be at least 18 years old

There are more than 50 bingo games taking place in Vermont in any given week.