The U.S. state of Vermont is looking at the possibility of offering online gambling to its residents, joining fellow several other states who have explored the potential of the industry to generate tax revenues.
State Governor Peter Shumlin asked the Vermont Lottery Commission to take a look to see how the online gambling industry could generate money for the state's education fund. Proceeds from the state lottery currently go into the education fund. Last year $20 million was generated in lottery revenues for Vermont schools.
Commenting on the issue, Shumlin said: "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."
Shumlin is facing re-election this year against Republican Randy Brock who has voiced concern about expanding state sponsored gambling.
"Gambling is a serious problem for some Vermonters and we don't want to make it easier for those folks to get into deeper and deeper trouble," said Brock. "There need to be some limits on what we do particularly if we're doing anything that would extend credit to gambling and that's something that I think we should do very, very cautiously if at all."
A report on the possibilities of internet gambling is expected to be presented to Vermont's Legislature in January.