Vermont Department of Liquor and Lottery has received five responses to its RFP for online sports betting licenses.

The operators who have submitted applications for Vermont mobile sports wagering are:

  • BetMGM
  • DraftKings
  • Fanatics Betting and Gaming
  • FanDuel
  • Penn Sports Interactive (ESPN Bet)

All of the aforementioned operators will be subject to a scoring system developed by the Department of Liquor and Lottery. The maximum achievable score is 1000 points with 800 being allocated under ‘Technical’ criteria, and the remaining 200 under ‘Revenue criteria’.

The technical criteria

The technical criteria are as follows:

  • Company Experience, Resources, Financial Stability (10%, or 100 points): Bidders assessed on the strength and experience of the company in the legal gaming and sports betting space, plus personnel. It also asks for a detailed Vermont market analysis and plan on how each company will generate revenue for the state.
  • Company Integrity and Ethics (8%, or 80 points): Criminal and regulatory adherence history of any bidder, plus information on the integrity monitoring systems.
  • General Design and Implementation of the Sports Betting Product (12%, or 120 points): A marketing plan, and how the prospective product ‘fits the Vermont market’, although it needn’t be a Vermont specific skin.
  • Strength of the Sports Betting Hardware and Software Solutions (14%, or 140 points): An outline of the core betting software product, including user interface and the background B2B space. Needs to demonstrate strong hardware and networking infrastructure, with the Department of Liquor and Lottery emphasizing it will play no part in hosting.
  • Strength of the Bidder’s Sports Betting Services (14%, or 140 points): Risk management strategy, anticipated customer base as well as depth in trading services, details on the player acquisition plan, customer services, IT support and payment processing as well as project management.
  • Bidder’s Compliance Program (6%, or 60 points): An outline of overall compliance program including age verification methods, AML, geolocation, fraud-monitoring and prevention.
  • Responsible Gaming (14%, or 140 points): Showing an overall commitment to responsible gaming practices, plus a plan of what measures they will implement in the state of Vermont.
  • Accounting and Audit Program (2%, or 20 points): Plan and technical capabilities for financial reporting.

Choose your own tax rate…

Revenue criteria make up the remaining 20%, with 10% being given based on the company’s anticipated gross wagering revenue and a scalable points system based on the % tax rate proposed by each operator, with the maximum 100 points being rewarded if a company chooses a tax rate of 51% or over.

VE sports betting was signed into law by the Governor on June 14, 2023. The initial bill, H 127 was submitted by Rep. Matthew Birong. It has paved the way for Act No. 63, “An act relating to sports wagering”.

The act authorizes the Department of Liquor and Lottery to operate a sportsbook ‘through sports wagering operators’. It allows the department to select a minimum of two and a maximum of six sports wagering operators, through a “competitive bidding process”.

Other highlights of Vermont’s sports betting legislation are as follows:

  • The minimum age for wagering in Vermont will be 21
  • Each operator selected through the bidding process will be required to pay a fee of $550,000
  • The Commissioner and relevant sports wagering operator may negotiate the renewal term, and the fee may then be reassessed. No operator will be required to pay the fee more than once in any three-year period
  • Each operator will pay a revenue share which will be determined and announced post-bidding process, but it promises to not be below 20% of adjusted gross sports betting revenue

Although a sports wagering catalog has not been announced, the regulator has made it clear that wagering on events where the participants are primarily under 18 years of age is prohibited. It also has outlined the following rules for collegiate sports event wagering:

  • Wagering on collegiate sports events in which one of the participants is a collegiate team of a Vermont based college institution
    • This is unless it’s a collegiate sports tournament in which a Vermont college team participates, or include any collegiate sports tournament that occur outside of Vermont even though some of the individual games or events may be held in the state.

Vermont regulators are hoping to have sports betting live and operational before the NFL playoffs.