By Dave Fidlin | The Center Square contributor
Gov. Phil Scott is betting on sports betting revenue.
While official legislation has yet to be passed, Gov. Phil Scott’s recently unveiled fiscal year 2024 budget includes an anticipated $2.6 million in revenue from potential sports betting legalization.
The line item was one of multiple provisions discussed in a House Committee on Appropriations meeting Monday. Members in both legislative chambers of the Vermont General Assembly have begun deliberating on the upcoming budget, which will take effect in June.
Adam Greshin, commissioner of the Department of Finance and Management, provided the House committee with a high level overview of the general fund budget.
Sports betting revenue was one of Scott’s seven initiatives in the budget document.
“Our understanding is it has a chance this year of crossing the finish line,” Greshin said of the rationale behind placing the revenue line item in the fiscal year 2024 budget.
In the second half of 2022, a task force convened to dig into the intricacies of sports betting and how it might function in Vermont. Panelists last month recommended moving forward, with a number of provisions in place.
“There are many other states doing it,” Greshin said at the meeting. “It’s a bit like the cannabis debate. If people are doing it, why not regulate it and gain revenue from it? I think that’s probably what’s driving the discussion.”
The committee also discussed anticipated revenue from settlements reached through the state attorney general’s office, which this year has an earmarked $1 million on the revenue side of the ledger.
The figure varies from year to year, Greshin said, and at this time is preliminary.
“With the attorney general, we very simply dial up and say, ‘What do you expect?’” Greshin said. “It’s not our swim lane, so we take our best estimate from them. If I were a betting man, I’d say that’s low. But we’re trying to take what they’ve given us.”
Scott’s proposed fiscal year 2024 budget clocks in at $8.37 billion. By contrast, the previous year’s budget totaled $8.35 billion.
Despite the near similar figures, Greshin said there are a number of distinct differences between the two budgets – particularly from revenue sources.
“The budget is about the same, but the composition of that $8.37 billion is quite a bit different,” Greshin said. “The federal funds component has fallen sharply – about a half a billion dollars. The state funds component has risen sharply, by about that same amount.”
In his annual letter, outlining his vision in the proposed budget, Scott said the plan he presented is “undoubtedly the most significant budget I have presented in my time as governor.”
Outlining some of his proposals, Scott in the letter wrote, “My budget proposes $77 million in new, ongoing initiatives, which includes a massive increase in the state’s investment in child care.
Scott added, “Over $230 million of surplus money is invested in one-time projects for everything from bolstering our cellphone infrastructure, to trades scholarships, to building and rehabilitating our housing stock.”
Categories: State Government
If I were you, I’d place all my money instead on that whole “legalized prostitution” thing; pretty sure that’s what your legislators will be doing with their $.
Why not both? Vermont has the potential to be the Los Vegas of the East coast!
The state commitee convenes to deliberate on sports gambling provisions in a bill. Whatever gives the state the right to decide what type of gambing is legal/illegal in the state? Seems to me the people gamble when they pay thier taxes and the legislature has dug a marvelous $6 Billion debt. However no fears, they know plenty about how the people need to spend their own money. Get off the peoples back! Sports gambling should be as legal as prostituting to the state’s Megabucks one in a billion chance in hit it big.
Legalized marijuana, legalized prostitution, and now legalized gambling. Just what Vermont needs next! **NOT**
I enjoy sports wagering and want to see it implemented asap. It is yet one more reason I travel over the CT river to do business along with lower prices on just about everything.