Vermont Senate’s bill to create committee to examine Sports Betting Legalization options

Vermont Senate’s bill to create committee to examine Sports Betting Legalization options

The Vermont State Senate is widely expected to approve the bill that would create a committee to examine how sports betting could be legalized in the Green Mountain State.

Senators for the Green Mountain State are scheduled to assemble on coming Tuesday, and they are expected to give a final vote on the Senate Bill 59 on the same day. The bill has already received undisputed support after its 2nd reading in the Senate last Friday, when it conducted a virtual session. Now, the measure is on the agenda for a 3rd and final reading when the state Senators will meet this week.

The supporters of the bill say that the measure would help legalize and regulate sports betting, which would help the state coffers by generating taxes. However, there is a need for more information for tracking the activity. Thus, they should support the bill to create an expert committee so that sports betting legalization options could be examined. 

The measure calls for a committee consisting of the state’s Attorney General (AG), the Secretary of Commerce, the Secretary of State, two state senators, two house members, the Commissioner of Taxes, and the Commissioner of Liquor & Lottery. The committee will be assigned with the task to deeply examine and review tax structure, possible limitations, benefits and the types of sporting events of other states that could be offered to bettors in Vermont as well.

While it seems certain the state Senate will approve the bill, the House Committee chairman & State Representative Tom Stevens is not keen to support the bill. Rep. Stevens, a Democrat from Waterbury, said that he is not sure there is a need for expediency either.

When asked for a comment, he said, “I don’t know if this is the right time for it. At a time when many Vermonters are losing their jobs or just on the edge, precariously financed. And when sports aren’t being played, I’m not sure this is something we need to consider too quickly.”

State Sen. Michael Sirotkin, a Democrat from Chittenden and the primary sponsor of the bill, argued that state residents want the state to legalize sports betting. Urging other senators to vote for the bill, he stressed that state residents would either cross state lines or place bets illegally through offshore or unlawful methods if they don’t grant the activity a legal status.