Vermont Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Vermont
Only charitable gambling is legal in the state of Vermont. The groups that hold casino nights must be benefiting a charity, education, religion, or a civic organization. Before they can even host an event, the group must have been involved in charity work for at least 12 months. Plus, the prizes that can be won are limited to $400 per game, $1,000 per day, $5,000 per month, or $50,000 per year. Organizations that need to exceed the limitations must meet specific requirements and time periods.
When a group opts to host a charity gambling night, the state restricts the types of gambling that are allowed. The only options are bingo, card games like Blackjack and poker, raffles, or scratch tickets. Slots and other video/mechanical games are illegal. Gaming nights can only be held twice a week. If an organization wants to do a three-day event, they may only do so two times per year and the events must be at least three months apart. This limits legal gambling options for Vermonters.
Vermonters who want to gamble will find the easiest options are scratch off tickets offered by Vermont Lottery that are sold in convenience stores or in vending machines in many supermarkets and benefit the Vermont Education Fund. Many of these same retailers also sell lottery tickets. A select number of bars throughout the state have Touch Play consoles where you can play a number of instant lottery games and buy tickets for Vermont Lottery draw games. These draw games include:
• Gimme 5 Tri-State
• Pick 3/Pick 4
• Vermont Megabucks
• Vermont MegaMillions
• Vermont Powerball
One thing worth that you should note is that a losing scratch off ticket can still be beneficial. Fill out the information on the back of the card, mail it to Vermont Lottery, and you’re entered in a second chance drawing to win cash. The second chance prize pool comes from unclaimed winnings collected over the years.
History of Gambling in Vermont
Much of Vermont’s legalized gambling is overseen by the Vermont Lottery Commission. This group was founded in 1977 per Public Act 82. The newly formed Vermont Lottery was given a trial run that would end in 1980. The first game was a weekly drawing called Green Mountain Game. Winners matched the numbers on their tickets to the numbers drawn by a representative for the agency. The popularity of this game led to a scratch-off lottery ticket in 1978.
Due to the popularity of these games, the government opted to extend Vermont Lottery for an additional three years. With continued revenue coming in, it was decided to allow Vermont Lottery to run indefinitely. The commission continued thriving, and, in 1988, the mandate that profits from gambling would go into the general fund. This was changed 10 years later, when it was mandated that a portion be used for the Vermont Education Fund.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in Vermont
To purchase lottery tickets and scratch-off tickets in Vermont, people must be at least 18 years of age and be able to present a photo ID if requested. To enter bars, people must be at least 21 years of age.
Vermont’s Casino Gambling Outlook
In 2013, H.93 was introduced by a number of state representatives. This bill requested that the Vermont Lottery Commission issue a six-year casino license to one qualified organization willing to pay $5,000,000. With so many thriving ski resorts, many believe that casino games in a resort would bring in much-needed revenue. The casino license would allow the casino to offer a mix of table games, slots, and other video/mechanical machines. While the original bill was defeated, there are still groups lobbying for an in-state casino. With Vermont in the midst of a budget crisis, there’s hope the government might start looking at the potential avenue for revenue. If this does ever pass, it will change the future of legalized casino gambling in Vermont.
You will not find any land-based casinos in Vermont. The closest options are the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Upstate New York, Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, a few small casinos in New Hampshire (Lakes Region Casino and Ocean Gaming), Plainridge Park and Mohegan Sun casinos in Massachusetts, and Casino de Montreal that’s just across the border in Montreal, Canada.