When it comes to sports, Vermont is not even kind of close to on the map. They nave no notable teams, across any league. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking professionally or at the collegiate level. There is basically nothing. They play home to a Single-A minor league baseball affiliate for the Oakland Athletics, and that’s it. Finito. It should come as absolutely no surprise that the state’s sports betting laws, as well as their general gambling policies, are not all that friendly or flexible.
Vermont Sports Betting Law
Sports betting is not legal in the state of Vermont, and nothing suggests this will change anytime soon. They have yet to move off their rigid stances on other gambling fronts, including casinos, so until they do, there’s little hope that they’ll join the onrush of states trying to legalize sportsbooks.
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Vermont doesn’t have any casinos operating in the state. Residents must travel to New York—namely Saratoga, New York—if they want to get the off-Vegas experience.
Somewhat shockingly, though, casinos aren’t nonexistent because they’re illegal. Corporate establishments remain forbidden under law as of now, but tribal gaming is actually in the clear. Vermont just doesn’t have any federally recognized tribes within the region, thereby negating any opportunity for a casino to open up shop. And given how difficult it is for tribes to receive recognition, there’s likewise little hope a gambling house will break ground anytime soon.
Social Gambling is Officially Taboo
On an official level, social gambling is a no-go in Vermont. Unofficially, however, you’re mostly fine.
The state laws spend a lot of time talking about “gambling houses,” which are almost impossible to define. There are also plenty of notes about “bets” that turn a “profit.”
By that interpretation, every form of gambling, however small scale, is illegal. That includes your dining room poker game, or your Super Bowl boxes pool.
Why yes, that unequivocally stinks. The good news? Vermont isn’t trying to shut down and prosecute these for-fun activities. Make no mistake, some state officials want Vermont to become the next Utah—a place that cracks down on even the tiniest, recreational betting games. But, for now, they’re not on the hunt for normal, everyday-life meet-ups.
Daily Fantasy Sports Newly Allowed
In somewhat of a stunning twist, Vermont passed a bill sometime in 2017 that legalized the participation and operation of daily fantasy sports. It was previously deemed illegal—not just in spirit, but in an official capacity that was backed by the then-governor. Might the legalization of daily fantasy sports spell a state-wide change of heart when it comes to gambling? Probably not. At least not anytime soon. But the allowance of DFS is nevertheless progressing.
Online Gambling Illegal, But Not Really
Betting online is technically illegal in Vermont, but there is no language actually preventing you from using digital sportsbooks and casinos. All of their laws apply within the state, so they only have jurisdiction over illegally run domestic facilities.
Most online sportsbooks and casinos are overseas, though. And international laws and statutes fall on the federal government, which has thus far chosen to turn its cheek to digital gamblers. Still, as always, it’s not a bad idea to limit the amount of your deposits and withdrawals, just to ensure your transactions aren’t flagged by banks.
Vermont Gambling Law Overview
Please see below for a more specific breakdown of what betting types are and aren’t allowed in Vermont at this time.
- Casino Gambling: Not legal (except for tribal
- Tribal Gambling: Legal (but no federally recognized tribes are in Vermont right now)
- Poker: Not legal
- Horse-Race Betting: Legal (but there isn’t an operational race track at the moment)
- Dog-Race Betting: Not legal
- Lottery: Legal
- Daily Fantasy Betting: Legal (recently)
- Social Gambling: Not legal (but you’re fine on a smaller, household scale
- Charitable Gambling: Legal (with proper licenses)
- Online Gambling: Not specified
Vermont Sports Teams
Due to the absence of enough noteworthy teams in Vermont, we will split our focus between in-house squads and the most popular professional factions that are located outside state lines.
Vermont Lake Monsters (Minor League Baseball)
What a name, right?
The Vermont Lake Monsters have been around since 1977, albeit in different capacities. They were the Jamestown Expos and Vermont Expos for the first chunk of their existence, but they switched to the Lake Monsters monicker when they became an affiliate of the Washington Nationals. Currently, though, they are the Single-A sibling for the Oakland Athletics, who they started repping in 2005.
Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Weird, isn’t it?
On the one hand, Vermont is close enough to Boston that the Boston Red Sox are the natural landing spot for their MLB affections. On the other hand, Vermont plays home to a minor league affiliate of the Athletics.
This isn’t unheard of by any stretch. MLB franchises like to stash their amateur squads in mostly rural, borderline obscure markets so their youngest prospects can avoid getting into any sort of trouble off the field. Plus, we’re talking about a Single-A affiliate in the Lake Monsters.
It’d be different if they played Triple-A ball and represented the last stop for players before they reached the pros. But they don’t, so the Red Sox, who are usually contending for a playoff spot and earned a World Series victory in 2013, take the cake.
New England Patriots (NFL)
The New England Patriots are the favorite NFL team across more than six states, and Vermont is one of them. Residents are within reasonable driving distance of Massachusetts, so the pull to this organization is natural. New England’s reputation for winning all the time takes care of the rest.
Since Tom Brady took over permanently as the starting quarterback in 2001, the Patriots have won less than 10 games only once, while missing the playoffs just twice. The current era has included six Super Bowl appearances, four of which turned into championships.
The NFL has never seen a more dominant dynasty. And let’s not speak about the Patriots’ reign as if it’s over. They grabbed a Super Bowl victory in 2016 and remain the odds-on favorite to repeat as champs once again—so long, of course, as Brady remains ageless under center.
Vermont’s Biggest Sporting Event of the Year
Sorry, no maple syrup cook-off here.
Held every year in the middle of June, the Lake Champlain International Fishing Derby is one of the most lucrative fishing competitions on the planet. They have competitions and categories for a variety of species, and the cash prize pool routinely rises past $300,000.
Not too shabby, huh?