Vermont lawmakers are back in session, and several Senators are trying again to get a sports betting bill into law. Senator Dick Sears has proposed Senate Bill 77 which, if passed, would approve VT sports betting through the lottery as well as six cellular operators.
Sears co-sponsored the bill with Senators Michael Sirotkin, Christopher Pearson, and Richard Westman. With the bill co-sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans, there seems to be an easy way to get a 30-seat Senate majority. S77 is currently awaiting a hearing in the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs.
The bill doesn’t give any details and suggests that the alcohol and lotteries department would find out much of it later. It should be noted, however, that individuals aged 18 and over could place bets and college wagering on events in the state would be prohibited. Tax rates and information on license fees were also excluded from the calculation.
“A three-party bill that I re-introduced with Senator Michael Sirotkin, Senator Chris Pearson and Senator Rich Westman will generate an estimated $ 3 million in tax revenue annually,” Sears wrote in a comment. “These proceeds can be used to fund important services and programs for the Vermonters.”
This isn’t Sear’s first pressure on a sports betting bill. In 2020, Sears and Sirotkin filed a mobile-only sports betting bill, and Sirotkin separately received a sports betting study bill that passed, but that measure didn’t come through.
The duo and their co-sponsors know the time is ticking when all Vermont neighbors take sports betting seriously. New York, New Hampshire and Quebec, Canada all have forms of legal sports betting and are considering extensions. Vermonters only need to travel a short distance in any direction to place a bet. If the State of Green Mountain is to stop seeing money drive over the border, it must act quickly.