Vermont is a sparsely populated state and its legal gambling options are no different. In fact, just a few steps above being a “dry state”, the Green Mountain State is saved by a lottery, off-track betting, daily fantasy sports, and charitable gaming. But unlike states with similar gaming laws seen in the south, Vermont doesn’t seem vehemently opposed to gambling. That’s not to say that it’s exactly for it either. For the foreseeable future, fans of gambling in Vermont will have to hop the border to New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, or into Canada. It’s possible that when Vermont takes note of the prosperity being brought to other states through legalized gambling that it may finally bring it to the table.
Vermont Legal Gambling History
There’s not much to be said about a gambling history in Vermont since it’s always been illegal and without much fight to change it, aside from a couple of former politicians’ and their efforts.
Horse racing has always existed in Vermont but it became regulated in 1963. Vermont’s last standing racecourse, Green Mountain, was closed in 2008 and now everything has moved to off-track betting and internet betting.
Voters brought in a state lottery to Vermont in 1976, although it took until 1978 for the first ticket to sell.
From 2009 to 2015, State Rep. Ronald Hubert was putting forth legislation to bring a casino Vermont. for the sixth straight year. None of his attempts made it past the committee stage.
In 2016, the attorney general of Vermont declared daily fantasy sports illegal. A month later, a bill was passed in the state senate to override his statements.
The former governor of Vermont Peter Shumlin was open to online gambling, even speaking out against movements that were against it. Unfortunately, he didn’t seek re-election and since his time nobody else has been vocal about it.
Vermont Gambling Legal Status
Gambling is illegal in Vermont, mostly. Casino gambling, poker, online gambling, and sports betting are all illegal.
The state lottery is legal in Vermont, which is now an education lottery. Meaning, its proceeds go back into education for the state. The state lottery includes scratch-offs, Powerball, Mega Millions, and a tri-state drawing with Maine and New Hampshire.
While there are no race tracks in Vermont, the law allows for track betting. Players in Vermont can bet at off-track locations as well as online.
Charitable gambling such as bingo and raffle type games are legal in Vermont. And in opposition to the governor of Vermont who declared daily fantasy sports to be illegal, FanDuel and DraftKings still exist.
Players need to be at least 18 years of age to play the state lottery, off-track bet and participate in charitable games.
Vermont Legal Gambling Options
The best bet for casino gambling for people in Vermont is a drive into New York to the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort. There, players can take part in 130,000 square feet of gambling and over 1,600 slots.
The next best option is hitting one of the Connecticut casinos – Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun. Atlantic City in New Jersey is a bit further, but all of these options are some of the best gambling in the country and well worth the trip. For those willing to cross over to Canada, Montreal has casino gambling as well.
Vermont Legal Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting
Sports betting is still illegal in Vermont. There doesn’t seem to be a real push for it. It could be that Vermont wants to play the fence for a bit to see how it pans out in other states before taking any action.
FanDuel and DraftKings operate in Vermont with free-range even though Vermont’s attorney general declared daily fantasy sports illegal. A bill was passed in 2016 to counter his declaration that secured their spot as being legal.
Vermont Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What forms of gambling are legal in Vermont?
The following are legal in the state of Vermont:
- Off-track betting including internet and mobile betting.
- State lottery including scratch-offs, Powerball, and Mega Millions.
- Daily Fantasy Sports.
- Charitable gaming such as bingo and raffles.