Vermont Gambling Guide
Vermont has strict gambling laws that outlaw almost all gambling. The few exceptions are the state lottery, charitable games and some pari-mutuel betting.
But where does Vermont stand on online gambling?
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Online Gambling and Vermont Law
Is online gambling legal in Vermont?
Like most states, Vermont's gambling laws don't specifically mention online gambling. The current gambling laws can cover online gambling as well as traditional forms of gambling. The laws in Vermont don't distinguish between the two.
Can I get arrested for gambling online in Vermont?
Since Vermont gambling laws don't reference online gambling, it's unlikely you'll get arrested for gambling online in Vermont. Our advice, as always, is to obey the laws wherever you live, but that doesn't prevent us from discussing risk.
We have yet to find a case where law enforcement has acted against residents gambling online.
Law enforcement in Vermont is more interested in stopping the residents that are running illegal online casinos and books. This isn't unusual. Most "vice" type enforcement targets the provider rather than the customer.
Is Vermont going to legalize online gaming?
Vermont gambling sites might become legal soon.
Vermont has been considering selling lottery tickets online. That's a good indication that the state isn't firmly opposed to online gambling-especially not if it's state regulated.
How do I choose a good online gaming site?
Choosing a good online gaming site is all about research. Below are a few key items to research when considering Vermont gambling sites:
Customer Service - Talk to the customer service department to get a good idea of how professional they are. You can call them or connect with them via live chat to ask them a simple question. Ask about their hours or deposit options. You'll get a feel for how they handle questions and how quickly they respond.
Look for Complaints - Search for complaints about any gaming site you're considering. Online complaints show you problems that members have had. You can also read about the solutions the site offered previous customers. These complaints could reveal some red flags. Keep in mind that in the gambling industry, bogus complaints are possible, too. People who lose money gambling online can often be disgruntled just because they're sore losers.
Read Reviews - Find real reviews written by the past or present members of the site. These will also give you an insight into their experience. You'll have a better idea of what you can expect. Keep in mind that some so-called reviews are nothing more than shills or advertisements. It's usually not too hard to discern between legitimate reviews and advertisements, as legit reviews will offer pros and cons to consider.
Our site offers thorough, legitimate reviews that consider the good and bad features of these sites. Most of the sites we recommend here welcome real money gamblers from Vermont.
Check Deposit Options - Check what deposit options the gaming site offers to see if you're comfortable using them. If you aren't comfortable using their deposit options, you have no reason to keep considering the site.
Game Variety Offered - No matter what your game of choice is, make sure the site you're considering has enough game variety to keep you entertained. There's no point in signing up for an all slots casino if you prefer playing blackjack. If you want to play live dealer games via webcam, make sure the casino offers those games.
Are offshore gambling sites safe?
Offshore gambling sites are generally safe.
Rogue operations do exist though. These are more common in jurisdictions that provide less oversight.
By checking out the licensing jurisdiction of the site, you can get a better idea of the standards the site is held to.
Remember, the U.S. doesn't have jurisdiction in other countries, so lawsuits won't be a realistic option if you are unhappy with an operation.
Be sure to check if the offshore gambling site you're considering can offer games to your state. Some sites are limited on who they can offer their services too. Most of the sites we recommend welcome Vermont gamblers, but not all of them.
Are daily fantasy sports legal in Vermont?
Yes, daily fantasy sports in legal in Vermont. In May of 2017, the Vermont Legislature passed a bill regulating daily fantasy sports.
This is great news for the nearly 80,000 Vermont residents who already play daily fantasy sports.
The passing of this bill might have been a surprise for some Vermont residents, as a former Vermont attorney general initially declared daily fantasy illegal gambling.
The passing of daily fantasy sports is another good sign that legal, regulated Vermont gambling sites may be on the horizon.
Breaking down what exactly is or isn't legal in Vermont. Gambling Venues in Vermont
Where to gamble in the state of Vermont. The History of Gaming Laws in Vermont
A brief history of Vermont laws regarding gambling. Additional Information
Still have questions? Check out these links. The Future of Gambling in Vermont
What does the future of gambling look like in Vermont?
More Gambling Laws in Vermont
Casino games: Illegal
The Vermont Statutes state than any card, dice, or table game is illegal to bet on. This means that no casinos can exist in the state. The only exception to this law is charitable gaming, which we cover under the bingo section below.
Here's what the Vermont Statutes says about gambling:
"A person who plays at cards, dice, tables or other game for money or other valuable in a common gaming or gambling house that is maintained for lucre and gain, shall be fined not more than $200.00 or imprisoned not more than sixty days, or both."
Here's what the Vermont Statutes says about betting on any game, which can include sports games:
"A person who wins or loses money or other valuable thing by play or hazard at any game, or by betting on such play or hazard, or sharing in a stake wagered by others on such play or hazard, shall be fined not more than $200.00 nor less than $10.00."
"A person who has or keeps on premises owned or occupied by him implements or other things used in gambling and permits persons resorting to such premises to use such implements or things for the purpose of gambling shall be imprisoned not more than six months nor less than ten days or fined not more than $500.00 nor less than $10.00, or both."
Sports and race betting:: Pari-mutuel only
Pari-mutuel betting is legal in Vermont, but greyhound racing is prohibited. No horse tracks are located in the state.
Here's what the Vermont Statutes says about pool selling or pari-mutuel betting:
"Except as provided under chapter 13 of Title 31, a person shall not
(1) engage in bookmaking or pool selling, except deer pools or other pools in which all of the monies paid by the participants, as an entry fee or otherwise, are paid out to either the winning participants based on the result of the pool or to a nonprofit organization or event as described in 32 V.S.A. § 10201(5) where the funds are to be used as described in that subdivision, or both;
(6) with the exception of pools as provided in subdivision (1) of this subsection, lay, make, offer or accept any wager, upon such result or contest of skill, speed or power of endurance of human or beast, or between humans, beasts, or mechanical apparatus."
Pari-mutuel betting is allowed, but any other pool selling is illegal.
Vermont does have a state regulated lottery. Since most forms of gambling are illegal in Vermont, the lottery generates most of the state's gambling revenue, all of which goes to the education fund.
According to the Vermont Lottery website:
"The Lottery's stated purpose in the enabling legislation was to "produce the maximum amount of net revenue consonant with the dignity of the state and the general welfare of the people." In 1978 the Vermont Lottery Commission was granted $250,000 seed money. It took the lottery seven months from inception of the lottery to produce the first ticket and eighteen months to pay back the $250,000.
Today the Vermont Lottery continues to be run by a small, efficient staff of professionals consisting of 21 full-time employees, with oversight from five commissioners, who are appointed by the Governor and approved by the Vermont Senate. It is still one of the smallest staffs of any lottery in the United States.
The Vermont Lottery remains committed to contributing all proceeds to the Education Fund, while also strongly communicating the importance of responsible gaming."
Vermont lottery games include:
- Instant tickets
- Mega Millions
- Gimme 5
- Lucky For Life
- Pick 3
- Pick 4
- Fast Play
- Fast Play Pro
In 2012, a commission was established to look into selling lottery tickets online, but as of right now, it's still prohibited.
Bingo: Charitable Only
Bingo and raffle style games are allowed for charitable gambling purposes only. Some games of chance can be used for charitable gambling, poker being a popular choice.
Here's what the Vermont Statutes says about nonprofit gambling:
"Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, a nonprofit organization, as defined in section 10201(5) of Title 32, may organize and execute, and an individual may participate in lotteries, raffles or other games of chance for the purpose of raising funds to be used in charitable, religious, educational and civic undertakings or used by fraternal organizations to provide direct support to charitable, religious, educational, or civic undertakings with which they are affiliated. Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, gambling machines and other mechanical devices described in section 2135 of this title shall not be utilized under authority of this section."
Charitable bingo games cannot be played through the Internet or at any other location other than where it's being hosted. This is not an unusual law, but here's what the Vermont Statutes says about it:
"A person shall not conduct a bingo game in which the numbers picked are communicated electronically or by satellite to players at another location."
Charitable games face limitations on how many events they can host a year. In general, nonprofit organizations can't host more than three events a year. In certain cases, nonprofit organizations are able to host events multiple times a month.
Here are the Vermont Statutes general guidelines for how often nonprofit organizations can host games:
"A nonprofit organization, as defined in 32 V.S.A. ß 10201(5), may organize and execute no more than: (A) one casino event in any calendar quarter; or (B) three casino events in any calendar year, as long as there are at least 15 days between each event."
Vermont's charitable games maximum prize is $50,000.00. Here's what the Vermont Statutes says about prize limits at the charitable bingo games:
"A nonprofit organization may offer a prize worth not more than $400.00 in value for a single game of chance, except that the nonprofit organization may offer a prize worth not more than $1,000.00 in value for one game per day, a prize worth not more than $5,000.00 in value for one game per calendar month and a prize of a motor vehicle, firearm, motorcycle or watercraft worth not more than $50,000.00 for one game per calendar year. A nonprofit organization may exceed the above prize limitations on four days per calendar year, if the days are at least 20 days a part and the total prize money offered for all games executed on the day does not exceed $20,000.00."
Social gambling: Illegal
All dice, card and table games are illegal. These laws include social gambling that takes place in the home.
It's not uncommon for Vermont residents to hold poker games at home though.
Strictly speaking, these games are illegal. Law enforcement hasn't taken much interest in them, though.
Gambling Venues in Vermont
No casinos exist in Vermont, but some charitable bingo halls can be found throughout the state.
History of Gambling in Vermont
Pari-mutuel betting at agricultural fairs on horse racing is legalized.
The first Vermont lottery game is played.
A mandate goes into place starting that all profits from the Vermont Lottery are to go towards the Education Fund.
The Vermont staterun lottery is established.
An attempt for a state casino doesn't make it any further than the legislate committee.
The Future & Your Views
Legally, Vermont is a strict state when it comes to gambling. All casino games are illegal, with the exception of bingo and raffle games being allowed for charitable games only.
Vermont does have a state lottery, daily fantasy sports and pari-mutuel betting though.
Since Vermont has legalized online daily fantasy sports and is now considering legalizing online lottery sales, Vermont gambling sites might be on the horizon.
Online gambling sites could be a good option for Vermont. They could bring in large amounts of revenue, and keep Vermont residents from traveling to other states to spend their gambling money.