IS ONLINE GAMBLING LEGAL IN VERMONT?
Online gambling is not specifically outlawed under legislation because the laws were put in place before the concept of the internet was even thought of. There is enough range in the definitions of gambling in the statutes that seem to cover this activity should it have to go to court.
It would do you well to remember that US Federal law bans online gambling through their ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ and then the ‘Federal Wire Act’, which makes transferring funds to or from online betting operators illegal. Where state law does not clearly define internet gambling as legal in the state, the Federal Law therefore governs in its stead. This makes it implicitly illegal to gamble online in the state of Vermont.
There are no land-based casinos in the state of Vermont, nor in any of the tribal lands within its borders. Gambling is banned, if a profit is made from it.
Poker and other casino games can be enjoyed if they are played to raise funds for charity. These activities can only be carried out after applying for and receiving a permit to do so.
Social gambling is also considered illegal, and though fines for taking part in such activities may be small for the players, those hosting the games will find themselves in much hotter water, if they are profiting in anyway.
Online Poker is not legal in the state of Vermont. There are no current bills pushing for the legalising of this gambling activity either, meaning that the laws regarding online gambling will not change in the state anytime soon.
Land-based poker or poker rooms are also illegal, unless played for on a charitable basis, where a permit must be issued before commencing with such activities. While normal social home games are tolerated to a degree, they are not really legal in state.
While online sports betting is illegal, ironically Pari-mutuel betting on horseracing has been legal since 1959 in Vermont, if conducted at the track. The only thing is, there are no longer horse races hosted in Vermont, which makes the ability to bet on them redundant. Should a race track open in the future, then the law would already be in place to commence with pari-mutuel betting activities on the premises.
On June 8th of 2017, Vermont Governor, Phil Scot signed into law a bill legalising the operation of paid entry fantasy sports in the state. Because fantasy sports are based mainly on skill, and not luck, it is not considered a game of chance and therefore technically not gambling. It is therefore legal to play Daily Fantasy Sports in Vermont.
The lottery and charitable games were legalised in the state of Vermont in 1976. The first Lottery took place in 1978 and continues to this day. The lottery as seen as a charitable game, as all of the profits earned are directed at the Education Fund of the state. Lottery tickets cannot be bought online though, so you will have to pick some up at the store.
As casino games are illegal in Vermont, no one can play these games. Charitable gambling and Lottery play can only be done if an individual is 18 years of age or older.
Because casinos are illegal in Vermont, there is no need for a casino regulator. The state is the watchdog against illegal forms of gambling and will enforce its own laws. The lottery is run and regulated by ‘The Multi-State Lottery Association’ (MUSL), which is an American non-profit organisation.
The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) have a Vermont based headquarters, where people struggling with gambling addiction and other related gambling problems, can seek counsel 24 hours a day, either by text or phone call on 1-800-522-4700 or via online webchat on ncpgambling.org/chat.
The national helpline for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is also geared to assist problem gamblers in need of counsel. SAMHSA can be contacted on 1-800-622-HELP (4357).
The state of Vermont keeps their views on gambling quiet, so as not to stir up trouble in this area. The simple ‘charitable gaming only’ view, does allow for players to have a flutter or two, so long as they are aware that all their winnings will go to charity and will not fill their own pockets.
There does not seem to be any movement in this state towards changing any gambling bills as yet, but with a nation-wide awakening towards legalising online gambling, we might see a very different gambling landscape in a decade or so.
We, however advise that you honour the laws of gambling in the State of Vermont and urge you to refrain from using gambling services offered to you from illegal operators or offshore online gambling facilities.