Getting to Know Vermont and Its Gambling History
Is any type of online gambling legal in Vermont?
- Online poker: It’s complicated.
- Online casino games: It’s complicated.
- Online sports betting: It’s complicated.
There are no laws on the Vermont books specifying the legality or illegality of online gambling.
One of the few New England states in America, Vermont borders the Canadian province of Quebec to its north. Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York make up its borders on the American side.
- Abbreviation: VT
- State Motto: Freedom and Unity
- Capital City: Montpelier
- Population Estimate: 625K (49th)
- Website: http://www.vermont.gov/
Vermont has very little legal gambling. Horse racing and on-track pari-mutuel betting has been a pastime for many years, and the lottery was approved in 1976, but those are the two major forms of lawful betting.
Charitable organizations are allowed to host lotteries and rabbles, along with a few card games, but there is a limit and they must clear the events with the state, as well as submit financial statements afterward.
The Vermont Code is not very detailed, as it is missing some key definitions of gambling-related terms. A gaming house refers to one that is maintained for profit by people playing games with cards or dice, but there are few other specifications that would help interested parties figure out the legal ins and outs.
By searching the website of Vermont’s Attorney General, there is a page on gambling, though much of it remains vague outside of gambling on behalf of non-profit groups. The site does say that professional gambling is illegal, but there are no references to social gambling, internet gaming, or sports betting.
Attorney General TJ Donovan states this on his website:
“Professional gambling is illegal in Vermont. The purpose of the gambling laws is to ensure that only nonprofit and fraternal organizations operate games of chance and to ensure that the proceeds from the games provide direct support to charitable, religious, educational, or civic undertakings.”
Most Recent Developments
With little interest in expanding gambling to any degree, Vermont legislators rarely even introduce gambling-related bills for debate. Over the past decade, there have been on bills related to internet gambling or sports betting. And in spite of many neighboring states offering some type of casino gambling and gambling-related tourist attractions, there have been no proposals in the legislature with regard to land-based gambling establishments.
There was one effort by several Vermont lawmakers in 2013, as they introduced a bill to create the Vermont Gaming Commission to oversee home poker games. The intent was reportedly to expand opportunities for private citizens to host small private games under a regulatory framework, but some felt the creation of a commission would open the door for online gambling bills and more. The bill died.
However, in 2017, the legislature passed a bill that is now listed in the Commerce and Trade section of the state statutes, and it legalized fantasy sports contests. The law ensures that none of the criminal code pertains to fantasy sports, and it specifies the effective date as January 1, 2018.
Expect little in the way of internet gambling or sports betting progress from Vermont, as least for the foreseeable future.
Gambling Sites FAQ
Q: Can I play for real money on your recommended poker, gambling, and betting sites?
A: Yes! There are many sites that offer gambling online to Vermont players.
Q: Does state law enforcement intend to crack down on internet gaming?
A: It seems very unlikely. The state of Vermont seems to be opposed to many forms of gambling, but there are no indications it will order officials to take action against sites that are based offshore but offer online gambling and betting to its residents. If other states began to do it, Vermont may join in and do the same, but it doesn’t seem motivated to pursue any action on its own.
Q: Should players be worried about a crackdown?
A: No. Even in the off chance that Vermont would bring charges against online gambling sites or try to block them from offering games to Vermont residents, there is no reason for them to pursue any action against players themselves. It would be a completely unprecedented and unusual move.
Q: What if one of your recommended sites shuts down? Will I get my money?
A: The sites we choose to recommend for our players are all licensed and regulated, which means they adhere to the rules of that licensing body. Most sites are now required to keep player funds safe and separate from all other company funds, which makes it easier to pay players should the operator have to exit a particular market or shut down altogether. There are no guarantees, but the regulators do whatever possible to give players some peace of mind.
Q: How do I deposit and withdraw money from these sites?
A: Each site is different and may offer variations of payment processing options. Many do offer the standard debit and credit cards for US players, as well as bank transfers, and some even work with ewallets to facilitate deposits. Most of those options are not available for withdrawals, though, as checks are typically the only method available. Sites are now beginning to adopt bitcoin as a processor, which not only provides internet anonymity but allows players to both deposit and withdraw by the same cryptocurrency. Check with your site for all of the options in Vermont.