Vermont lawmakers continue to discuss a measure which would allow the state to launch its own mobile betting market. Some are reluctant to expand the state’s betting industry, but others believe legal betting will stop the black market from dominating.
The bill is called H.127. If passed, Vermont would provide licenses for mobile betting to two to six companies. The state’s gambling authority, the Department of Liquor and Lottery will regulate the vertical.
According to H.127’s supporters, The Green Mountain State will benefit greatly from legal mobile betting. They claim that the state is losing significant money to the black marketplace, which has many customers in the state. Many believe Vermont is losing millions of dollars in tax revenue due to its lack of a legal marketplace.
A bid to curb the black market
Representative Matt Birong gave an example of his own experience. He stated that he was invited to a Super Bowl party and witnessed many people placing bets with unregulated sports betting operators.
It is well-known that unregulated gambling businesses are not subject to the same rules as licensed ones. Players who choose to play with illegal gambling companies face greater risk. For example, unlicensed operators rarely provide sufficient protections for players. Birong says licensed gambling giants are more trustworthy and deserve players’ trust.
Legislators also addressed GeoComply data shared with the House Committee on Government Operations and Military Affairs. This is further evidence of the dangers of the black market. The data shows that as many as 17,000 people tried to access illegal betting sites between September 2022 – February 2023.
GeoComply, a trusted geolocation specialist, recently shared data on the performance of Massachusetts’ new online sports betting market.
Vermont should also consider safer gambling
H.127 supporters believe that the establishment of a legal and safe mobile betting market for sports betting will be beneficial to all citizens. Despite the strong support for the measure, there are still concerns. As lawmakers remain unsure about Vermont’s approach to problem gambling,
Many believe that H.127 should be voted in, even if it wins. However, the state should ensure problem gambling resources and education prior to launching online betting. This system would need to be created from scratch as the state has yet to venture into online gaming.