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Vermont selects three companies to usher in state sports betting system

Mature man using mobile app for live betting and online gambling and watching a sports match
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DraftKings, FanDuel and Fanatics Sportsbook were selected by the Department of Liquor and Lottery to operate in Vermont. Residents will be able to place their first bets on Jan. 11 — just in time for the NFL playoffs.

Three online sports betting companies will be allowed to operate in Vermont starting next month, the Department of Liquor and Lottery announced on Tuesday.

The department chose DraftKings, FanDuel and Fanatics Sportsbook through a competitive bid process, according to a press release. The companies can now market and pre-register players in Vermont ahead of the Jan. 11 launch date — which was selected to coincide with the beginning of the NFL playoffs.

Governor Phil Scott signed a bill legalizing sports betting in June. The legislation allowed the Department of Liquor and Lottery to set up a betting system with up to six national companies.

“I first proposed Vermont legalize sports wagering several years ago, and it’s good to see it come to fruition,” Scott said in a written statement on Tuesday. “Vermonters and visitors alike will soon be able to access a regulated sports wagering marketplace, which will come with important consumer protections and generate revenue for the state.”

More from Vermont Public: Vermont legalizes sports betting: What you should know

The state expects to bring in up to $7 million in revenue during the first year sports betting is legal. Each company is required to pay at least 20% of their revenue to the state, plus a $550,000 operator fee, according to the law.

All three companies will pay more than the 20% minimum revenue share: DraftKings and Fanatics Sportsbook will each pay 31% and FanDuel will pay 33%, said Wendy Knight, commissioner of the Department of Liquor and Lottery.

“Frankly I am thrilled with the revenue share that we were able to secure with the operators,” Knight said. "It's much higher than it would have been in a tax rate.”

Representatives for FanDuel and Fanatics Sportsbook declined to comment on Tuesday.

In a written statement, Griffin Finan, senior vice president and deputy general counsel for DraftKings, said the company was looking forward “to expanding our presence in New England and introducing eligible customers in the state to the DraftKings Sportsbook, equipped with a plethora of betting options and a robust suite of responsible gaming tools.”

The companies are required to have guardrails in place to curb problem gambling, Knight said.

“They set wagering limits. They set deposit limits, or timeout periods,” Knight said. “There's a self-exclusion list so that if players feel like they need to sort of stop wagering for a period of time, they can put themselves on a self-exclusion list.”

The law also requires $250,000 of this year’s revenue go to the state’s problem gambling fund. The Department of Liquor and Lottery plans to recommend the Legislature put another $250,000 into that fund in fiscal year 2025, Knight said.

Five companies submitted applications to operate in Vermont, including the three that were awarded contracts. The department rejected applications from BetMGM and Penn Sports Interactive, Knight said.

Penn Sports Interactive was missing documents in its application, and BetMGM proposed a revenue sharing model that would change depending on how many sportsbook operators were authorized in Vermont. That revenue sharing model was “not acceptable,” Knight said.

Online sports betting has become a booming industry in the five years since a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for legalized gambling. Thirty-eight states, including Vermont, and Washington D.C now allow betting, and last year sports gambling brought in $7.5 billion in revenue, according to the American Gaming Association.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message, or contact reporter Liam Elder-Connors:

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Liam is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system.

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