Vermont is the second least populated state in the USA, and the sixth smallest by area. It borders the states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York, as well as the Canadian province of Quebec in the north. The most populated city in Vermont is Burlington, although Montpelier, the fifth most populated city, is the capital. Some of the largest ski areas are located in Vermont, with tourist regularly participating in trout fishing, lake fishing and ice fishing.
But what about indoor activities? Do people gamble online? This article will touch on the topic of what is legal and what is not in the state of Vermont – while some people prefer to ignore what the law says and play at an online casino regardless, others tend to play it safe with free, fun online slots via social casino apps.
Gambling Laws and Types of Gambling
There are very few options for gamblers in Vermont, so it’s safe to say that most prefer to make use of fun play casinos where they can play free, fun online slots. Those who prefer something other than slots are also getting their game on via social casino apps, like Facebook casinos or other mobile social casinos. The horse racing industry used to be big in Vermont, as betting was made legal at racetracks at county fairs in 1959 – even though this law is still in place, the races no longer happen.
The most popular types of “gambling” in Vermont are lottery and charity games, as an act was passed in 1976 to make this legal. As of 1998, all proceeds for lottery and charity games go directly to the Education Fund in Vermont. Charity games are a bit wider spread than just bingo, as they also include poker tournaments, casino nights and pull-tab type games. The latter are basically gambling tickets that are sold, which contains symbols hidden behind perforated tabs. The object is to open the perforated windows to reveal possible winning combinations – should you win, you can exchange your ticket for a prize, which is usually cash. Although licensing is required for all of the aforementioned games, there are no limits to the amount of game nights you can hold or the size of the prizes. Poker games do not form part of any of the social gambling laws, and even though the penalties for being caught playing poker games at home are small, you can still get into big trouble with the law.
Let’s have a quick overview, and recap, some of the main events in the history of gambling in Vermont:
- 1960: Act 259 allows for betting on horse races at agricultural fairs. This law has become null and void as there are currently no horse races to bet on in the state of Vermont.
- 1978: The first lottery game was approved and is still continuing to this day.
- 1998: All profits from lottery games will, from this year on, go to the Education Fund in Vermont.
- 2011: An attempt was made to appeal for a state casino, but was not approved.
- 2012: A commission was established to look into online lottery tickets, but there are no signs of this happening for now.
Which Forms of Gambling are Legal?
Gambling in the USA, especially online gambling, is still a very grey area, even though each state has its own laws when it comes to Internet casinos. Before we find out what is happening in Vermont, let’s first take a look at what kinds of gambling are allowed (or not) in this state:
- Casino Gaming: There are no state-licensed or tribal casinos in Vermont, so it is currently not legal.
- Online Casinos: Even though the wide range of definitions of gambling are covered in the statute books, there is nothing specific that makes playing at online casinos illegal or against the law. You are, however, better off playing on social casino apps like Facebook casinos or mobile social casinos.
- Live Poker: Home games are tolerated, although they are not within the Vermont law – charity poker games, however, are permitted.
- Online Poker: There are currently no plans on regulating online poker games.
- Sports Betting: Horse racing is legal, however there are currently no racetracks left in Vermont. Should a racetrack open in the future, the law that makes this type of betting legal, will stand.
- Lottery: Lottery is completely legal in Vermont and is, in fact, the main form of gambling. Lottery games include scratch cards and inter-state games like the Power Ball.
- Bingo Games: As this forms part of charity games, it is legal and also includes pull-tab games, raffles, casino nights and poker nights.
Where to Play in Vermont
As there are no land-based casinos in Vermont, players have to take a short drive to New York where there are plenty of casinos to choose from. Games available at land-based casinos include slots, baccarat, craps, roulette, blackjack and video poker. The two most popular casinos in New York are Resorts World Casino and Empire City Casino, which are both Racinos. This means that there are casino games and racetracks available, which makes it perfect for players from Vermont who have no racetracks left for betting on horse racing.
If you, however, want to stay indoors, you can always make use of social casino apps to play free and fun online slots. The best of these would be Facebook casinos, which are easily accessible via your Facebook account.
In short, and as mentioned, there are certain laws in Vermont that make it very clear as to what is legal and what is not, and then there are certain aspects of gambling which are quite unclear. Your best bet would be to stick with the legal ones like bingo and lottery and, if you want to simply play free, fun online slots, rather join Facebook casinos or other social casino apps. Alternatively, why not make a weekend of it and visit the state of New York, where there are plenty of casinos for you to choose from. You could walk away a winner.