July 10, 2024 3 min read

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Vermont Democrats’ Debit Card Illicitly Used for Sports Betting

A yet unknown perpetrator used the card to place wagers via online sports wagering operator FanDuel, adding to the many cases of thefts targeting political campaign committees

The Vermont Democratic Party faced an unfortunate accident, experiencing a fraudulent charge of $925 on its political committee debit card, with the funds later deposited into an account on the sports and fantasy gambling site FanDuel. While political fundraising committees are a prime target for criminals, this is the only known case where stolen money was used for gambling.

The Thief Immediately Turned to Wagering

According to a recent report by independent news outlet Raw Story, the political group managed to recover the money from the bank. However, Vermont Democratic Party executive director Jim Dandeneau did not share further details about the incident, including whether the Vermont Democratic Party knew the thief’s identity. He mentioned that the bank would handle follow-up actions with law enforcement.

Over the last year, various political organizations and political action committees nationwide have become targets for thieves. Criminals have stolen millions of dollars from many political campaign committees. This problem is not unique to any one party. For instance, President Joe Biden’s 2020 Democratic presidential campaign committee lost at least $71,000 to theft, as reported by Business Insider.

This incident draws attention to the state of Vermont’s gambling sector, as it is disconcerting that the first thing the criminal did was to place a wager successfully with a stolen card. Sports gambling became legal in Vermont in January, with FanDuel and DraftKings leading the American sports gambling market in the state.

Vermont Aims to Create a Safe, Sustainable Industry

This newest incident threatens to undermine Vermont’s efforts to establish a safe and customer-focused market for sports betting, raising questions regarding the effectiveness of anti-fraud measures. As the state’s gambling sector is still in its infancy, this incident should help direct attention to areas of improvement, hopefully complementing existing initiatives.

The Vermont Department of Mental Health (DMH), dedicated to improving the conditions and well-being of all Vermonters, recently launched a new website designed to support those struggling with gambling harm. The new site, VTGamblingHelp.org, is set to serve as a valuable resource for individuals seeking immediate assistance and support and offer materials promoting safer and more responsible gambling practices.

As Vermont continues to navigate the challenges of legal sports betting, preventing gambling-related fraud remains a priority for state officials and organizations involved in the burgeoning industry. The state has laid solid foundations for enduring success, and a few additions are all it needs to stand among the leading US sports betting jurisdictions.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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