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Vermont Online Gambling Laws

Players who are interested in understanding the legality of gambling in Vermont will find this section of our guide helpful. We will address both land based and Vermont online gambling, including the availability of each platform, and what legal options players have. We will discuss what is illegal and what the penalties are for illegal gambling. We will cover a variety of venues on this page, including brick and mortar gambling, charitable gambling, lottery, and various online sectors, including Vermont online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting and bingo gambling. It is our desire that the information you find here will leave you more knowledgeable than you arrived, and will provide a concise understanding of the gambling landscape for residents of and visitors to the state of Vermont. Making informed decisions regarding your participation in gambling activities is paramount to a successful and healthy experience.

Legal Gambling Definitions Within Vermont Gambling Laws

Vermont gambling law lacks a clear definition of gambling. It also lacks a clear definition of related terms like wager and bet. Vermont gambling law makes it a crime to play cards, tables, dice or other games for money or any thing of value in a common gambling or gaming house maintained for lucre and gain. Vermont gambling law does not however contain any definition of what is a gambling or gaming house.

What Are Vermont Gambling Laws Concerning Online Gambling?

Vermont gambling law does not specifically prohibit, authorize or regulate online gambling or Vermont online poker. Those who win or lose anything of value by play or hazard at any game or by betting or sharing in the betting on the same will be subject to a fine. Vermont gambling law however does not specifically list the charge for such an offense. Betting is an offense under Vermont gambling law regardless of the activity on which the betting takes place. Keeping gambling instruments or selling, renting or leasing gambling machines is illegal in Vermont. The law has provisions for harsher penalties for those who engage in pool selling and bookmaking. However Vermont gambling law does not define pool selling and bookmaking. Because it is not legal to operate an online gambling site within the state, we recommend that all players limit their online gambling to legally licensed and regulated gambling sites located outside of the United States. These sites include legal Vermont online sports betting, casino gambling, poker gambling and bingo wagering. They offer a secure gambling experience and have been welcoming US players for years.

History of Online Gambling in Vermont

When the settlers first came to Vermont and established their communities, gambling was a popular activity in Vermont. Card games and betting on races were very common. Large paddlewheel boats used to sail along the Missiquoi River from the shores of Vermont. People could gamble while they were on board these boats. However things changed in the early and mid 1900s when stricter laws were passed and enforced. Soon all forms of gambling were outlawed in Vermont. Even today, most forms of gambling are still illegal in Vermont. The state lottery and charitable gambling are the only exceptions.

Is There A Vermont State Lottery?

From 1964 to 1975, lotteries spread across the country as far west as Illinois and Michigan, covering all of the northeast and old mid-west and into Maryland. In 1976 a referendum was held to decide the establishment of the Vermont lottery. Over sixty percent of the voters voted in favor of the state lottery. A law was then passed allowing the state to establish the state lottery. The lottery began operations in 1977 but the first tickets were sold in February 1978. In April 1985 Vermont lottery along with New Hampshire and Maine lottery formed the first multi state lottery association in the United States - Tri-State Lotto Compact.

Is Playing Poker Legal in Vermont?

In most states, the gambling laws have a specific exception for social or home games of poker. This however is not the case with Vermont. There is no specific exception for social or home games of poker under Vermont law. Gambling in a gaming or gambling house is an offense. The law does not address the issue of gambling in a private setting. But at the same time the law does not define a gaming or gambling house.

Is There Any Pari-Mutuel Gambling Allowed In Vermont?

No pari-mutuel betting activity has occurred at the only commercial horse and greyhound race track in the state since 1997. Non-betting harness races are still common at some fairs. While horse racing is legal, greyhound racing has been banned since 1995. The last pari-mutuel harness race was held in 1997. Vermont has a state racing commission which functions even today.

Is Charitable Gambling Legal In Vermont?

There is a limited exception for charitable gambling. Non profit organizations can operate games of chance but the proceeds from the games must be used for charitable, religious, education or civic undertakings. Such non profit organizations include schools, churches, fire departments, fraternal organizations, municipalities, agricultural fairs and non profit corporations that are eligible for tax exempt status under federal law. The organization must be engaged in charitable activities for at least a year before it can hold a game of chance. Bingo, raffles and card games (including poker) can be offered as part of a charitable gambling event. Mechanical gambling devices and slot machines are prohibited. There is a limit on the prizes and the number of such charitable gambling events that can be held. Premises licensed to sell alcoholic beverages can sell break open tickets. The proceeds from the sale of these tickets must go to charity. Outside of charitable gambling,

Land Based Gambling Options in Vermont

There are no land based casinos in Vermont. The state has not entered into gaming compacts with any Indian tribe. In March 2012, a law called the Big Bill was passed by the state legislature. This law requires the lottery commission to study the possibility of selling lottery tickets over the internet.

Federal Laws That Affect Vermont Gambling

The United States DOJ has declared that each state of the Union can determine their own destiny when it comes to land based and online gambling. While a few states have already moved forward with regulated state sponsored online gambling, Vermont has not yet joined them. There are no federal laws prohibiting players from Vermont from engaging in online gambling at legally licensed and regulated gambling sites. The UIGEA bill passed in 2006 does not prohibit or criminalize online gambling for US players, in fact, it does not target players at all. The bill was engineered to place regulatory oversight on how online gambling transactions can be processed. This targets the operators and payment processors.

Vermont Gambling Laws

The content on this page was provided for informational purposes only and was not intended to serve as or replace professional legal advice or services provided by an attorney. If you are seeking professional legal services or interpretation of any law or statute, we recommend you contact a licensed attorney.

You can review the laws and statutes of the state of Vermont by accessing the State of Vermont Official Website.