What types of gambling are legal in Vermont?
Vermont has little in the way of legalized gambling, especially when compared to its neighboring states. There is a state lottery, off-track horseracing, daily fantasy sports and charitable gaming. Off-track betting and daily fantasy sports are the only forms of legalized online gambling in the state.
The minimum age for most Vermont gambling is 18 years of age. Charitable gaming is an exception. Those players must be at least 21 years old.
This list shows the types of gambling found in Vermont and where to find it:
- State lottery (scratch-offs and lotto sales at retailers, lotto subscriptions by mail)
- Horseracing (off-track at bars and on mobile apps)
- Daily fantasy sports (online and mobile apps)
- Charitable gaming (bingo, raffles and casino nights)
Online Gambling in Vermont
There are two forms of legal online gambling in Vermont. Daily fantasy sports contests are permitted. All major DFS companies, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo, accept Vermont players. The other instance is pari-mutuel off-track betting on horses. TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica accept bettors from the state.
Online Gambling Laws in Vermont
It is illegal to operate an online gambling site in Vermont without licensing. The only two forms approved in the state are daily fantasy sports and off-track betting. In June 2017, the governor signed S 136 into law. This created a licensing process for operators. The fee is $5,000. Players must be at least 18 years of age.
Simulcast horse racing dates to the federal Horseracing Act days of the 1970’s. This eventually moved to online wagering. Bets may be made at internet sites or on mobile apps. Bettors on horseraces must be at least 18 years of age.
Land-based Casinos in Vermont
There are no casinos in Vermont. Gamblers looking for a casino in Vermont must go to New York, New Hampshire or Massachusetts.
Casino Laws in Vermont
Casinos are illegal in Vermont. These establishments are forbidden through Title 13 Section 2133 of Vermont Statutes. Patronizing or hosting a gambling house is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $200 and up to 60 days in jail.
Sports Betting in Vermont
Sports betting is illegal in Vermont. This applies to live and online wagers.
Sports Betting Laws in Vermont
While sports betting is currently illegal in Vermont, a bill to study the activity is working its way through the legislature. Title 13 Section 2151 makes bookmaking and pool selling illegal.
Poker in Vermont
Poker is illegal in Vermont. The closest poker rooms are in New Hampshire.
Poker Laws in Vermont
Poker is illegal under the state’s broad anti-gambling law through Title 13 Section 2133. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $200 and up to 60 days in jail.
Home Poker Games
There are no social gambling exceptions to the state’s anti-gambling laws. Home poker games are illegal. It does not matter the stakes or whether the house takes a cut of the action. This applies to all forms of gambling.
Fantasy Sports in Vermont
Fantasy sports is one of the few forms of legalized gambling in the state. Entries are accepted for all events in the system of major operators. Vermont players may create real money account at sites like DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft and Yahoo.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Vermont
Fantasy sports are legal in Vermont through S 136, which became law in 2017. It allows for the licensing of these sites with a $5,000 registration fee. Players must be at least 18 years of age. The law includes provisions requiring segregated player funds and problem gambling programs.
The Vermont Lottery sells tickets to instant games, both scratch-off and digital on kiosks, and lotto drawings. Instant games have tickets that run from $1 to $25. Digital instant games sell tickets from $1 to $5.
There are seven lotto games. Five are interstate, while two are held only within Vermont.
Interstate Vermont Lotto Drawings
- Gimme 5
- Lucky for Life
- Mega Millions
Intrastate Vermont Drawings
- Pick 3
- Pick 4
Vermont Lottery Laws
The Vermont Lottery was created through a November 1976 constitutional referendum. Voters approved the Vermont State Lottery Question by a 2.5 to 1 margin. The state legislature created the framework the following year. The first instant game went on sale on February 14, 1978. The first lotto game was held on November 10, 1980.
From 1978 to 1998, lottery proceeds went to the state’s general fund. This was changed in 1998 to public education funding.
Live and off-track betting on horses and simulcast greyhound racing is legal in Vermont. However, there are no live tracks in the state. Green Mountain Park opened in 1963 with live horseraces. It ceased operations in 1976. A year later, it reopened as a greyhound park. It closed permanently in 1992. Live greyhound racing was later banned by the state.
These days, bettors can only place wagers on simulcast racing. This may be done at off-track betting parlors in taverns or on mobile apps such as TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica.
Vermont Racing Laws
Vermont horse and greyhound racing were created through a legislatively referred constitutional referendum in 1960. The Vermont Pari-mutuel Racing Act passed by a 53 to 47 margin. It allowed for pari-mutuel pools but no hold for the house. This later changed when simulcast wagering was added after the Horseracing Act of 1978 passed Congress.
The Vermont Racing Commission regulates off-track betting parlors in the state. There is no regulation of betting sites. Players must be at least 18 years of age.
Vermont Skill-based Gaming Laws
An event where participants place money on an outcome must be entirely skill-based in Vermont. No degree of chance is allowed. If there is an element of chance, placing money on its outcome, even in a social setting, is a crime.
There are no laws in Vermont that specifically apply to eSports. With social gaming illegal in the state, placing wagers on it is illegal. If there is no chance involved, it would be legal for the participants to make bets on it.
Traditional Games of Skill
Traditional games of skill are generally illegal in Vermont. This leaves sites like Worldwinner inaccessible for its residents. Sweepstakes sites like WPT Online also do not accept Vermont players.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines are only legal if prizes are for less than the amount played. No cash may be awarded.
Vermont Charity Gambling Law
Registered Vermont charities may hold bingo games, raffles and casino nights. This is permitted under Title 13 Chapter 51 of the Vermont Statutes.
General prizes are limited to $400. One prize each session may be worth up to $1,000. A $5,000 prize may be awarded one time each month. There may be one annual prize worth up to $50,000. This may include a vehicle, boat or motorhome.
Charities may spend up to $15,000 per year on labor. The maximum one employee may earn is $2,000. This does not include the value of rent, meals and refreshments.
There may be two bingo and raffle events per week. Once every 90 days, a three-day event is legal.
Casino nights are allowed once per month. All charitable gaming players must be at least 21 years of age.