Vermont Makes Progress in New Gambling Law

Democrat representative Clem Bissonnette of Vermont has introduced a new bill, H-186, which he hopes will result in the establishment of a Vermont Gaming Commission.   Bissonnette stated in the introduction of the bill that the gaming commission’s task would be to license and regulate gambling in the state, including home poker games and poker games in Vermont.

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Gambling activities in Vermon are currently overseen by the Vermont Lottery Commission, which was tasked last year by the Governor, Peter Shumlin to investigate the possibility of introducing online gambling to Vermont and its economic viabilities.  The governor was eyeing potential revenue from a state run online gambling regime which he said could greatly benefit education in Vermont.

It was said at the time that the Vermont Lottery Commission would issue its report on internet gambling in Vermont by January this year, but nothing has been presented yet.

Governor Shumlin said about the introduction of online lottery sales: “Internet lottery is going to be the wave of the future. I’m not suggesting that we won’t sell tickets and I want to sell tickets because it’s good for our downtown stores. But we also have to recognize that the technology is taking us to the Internet and the question is… what’s the role of the Internet in our lottery for Vermont in the future. And we don’t have to hurry but we better figure it out.”

Vermont currently offers very limited gambling options to its residents, with no commercial or tribal casinos to speak of.  Even its horse and dog racing industries are a thing of the past.   The state is not closed to the idea of expanding its gambling industry, however, and the governor’s willingness to at least explore the option of online gambling is welcome.

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