Vermont is one of the smallest and least populated states in the US. It is known for its vast forests and maple syrup production, but not gambling. Gambling in Vermont is prohibited in most of its forms. There are no land-based casinos and sports betting shops. All those who wish to gamble in casinos need to go to the neighboring state of Connecticut, or across the Canadian border to Montreal for a piece of the action.
Online gambling is restricted as well. Online casinos are not allowed to operate within Vermont’s borders. So, are there any gambling options in the Green Mountain State? Well, there are. Vermont offers charitable gambling, the state lottery, and social casinos. Technically, pari-mutuel wagering is allowed on horse racing, but there are no racetracks operating in Vermont at the moment.
Read on to find out more about Vermont’s gambling laws, the future of online gambling in this state, and what your best online gambling options are in Vermont.
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Vermont’s negative stance toward gambling has had a negative impact on online gambling as well. According to the Vermont Statutes, gambling is defined as “winning or losing money or another valuable thing by play or hazard at any game.” The definition is considered broad enough to cover online gambling, so it is deemed illegal even though it is not explicitly mentioned in the legislation.
To understand the situation with gambling in Vermont and what has led to such a negative take on gaming, let’s learn more about the history of gambling in this state.
Not everything was so grim for gambling in Vermont at first. In 1959, pari-mutuel gaming was declared legal. There were two racetracks where betting on horse races took place – the Vermont State Fair in Rutland and the Green Mountain Race Track in Pownal, which opened in 1963. After a couple of decades of horse racing, the Green Mountain Race Track switched to greyhound racing, but that didn’t bode well for the racetrack and led to its closure in 1992. Since then, no racetrack or pari-mutuel wagering has taken place in Vermont.
In 1976, voters passed a referendum to allow the establishment of the Vermont State Lottery, which organizes lottery draws under the Vermont Lottery Commission’s supervision. The lottery is still alive and kicking in Vermont, primarily interstate draws such as Powerball and Mega Millions.
Apart from the lottery and technically pari-mutuel wagering, only non-profit, fraternal, and religious organizations can host casino events to fund their projects.
All other forms of gambling, including online gambling, are strictly off-limits. There are no tribal casinos, nor land-based commercial ones. However, offshore gambling is the refuge for all gamblers from Vermont looking for valid online gambling options.
Even though online gambling is not allowed in Vermont, per se, all gamers can enjoy playing in offshore gambling sites without any fear of legal prosecution. Vermont law forbids running an online gambling operation and participating in one, but it does not say anything about offshore casinos. This is because offshore casinos are not registered in Vermont and therefore are not subject to Vermont gambling laws.
This does not mean that offshore online casinos are not licensed and regulated. Offshore online casinos licensed by reputable gambling jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority, to name a few, are considered to be entirely fair and safe and can be an excellent choice for all players from Vermont.
All prior attempts to bring online gambling to Vermont came short in the end. One such effort happened in 2012 with a bill that would allow the Vermont State Lottery to sell online lottery tickets. However, the bill never made it into law, which says a thing or two about the legislators’ enthusiasm when it comes to legalizing online gambling.
What might be a glimmer of hope for online gaming enthusiasts in Vermont is the legalization of daily fantasy sports competitions. Namely, as of 2017, betting on DFS is allowed in Vermont. Several DFS betting companies conduct their business in Vermont on account of DFS not being deemed as gambling, but more of a skill-based game.
No one knows for sure if online casinos will ever become legal in Vermont, but such a proposition seems highly unlikely at this point. It remains to be seen. In the meantime, offshore online casinos where you can play top casino games, like slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, and others, are a valuable alternative for all players from Vermont.
As we have previously stated, there are no land-based casino options in Vermont. For a visit to proper brick and mortar casinos, Vermont players need to travel to neighboring New Jersey, Connecticut, or New York, where land-based casino gaming is allowed.
Gambling in Vermont has been illegal for a long time, and that situation does not seem to be headed for improvement at the moment. Vermont’s gaming market is an unfavorable place for all those who enjoy playing in either online or land-based casinos. Offshore online casinos are an effective alternative, but you should consult a lawyer to get the necessary reassurance and make sure you can play in offshore online casinos.
Unfortunately, online casinos are not legal in Vermont since no forms of online gambling are allowed, except wagering on daily fantasy sports, which is considered a skill-based game rather than gambling per se.
Since no forms of online casinos and poker rooms are allowed in Vermont, you can’t play online poker legally in Vermont.
The minimum legal gambling age for charitable gaming, lottery, and DFS is 18.
Given the fact that all prior attempts to legalize online gambling were futile and nipped in the bud, it is safe to say Vermont will not legalize online gambling anytime soon.
Offshore online casinos are available for Vermont players, but it is better to consult a lawyer before setting up an account.