Wyoming Online Casino Gambling Bill Will Be Introduced in Quick-Moving Legislature

Wyoming lawmakers may soon consider legalizing online casino gambling. On Feb. 7, state Rep. Bob Davis told Bonus that when the Wyoming State Legislature begins its session on Feb. 12, he’ll introduce HB120. If all goes well, the state may have legal iGaming in 2025.

In a telephone interview with Bonus on Feb. 7, Davis talked about HB120’s odds of passage in 2024:

Well, it’s probably better than 50% if I can get it on the floor. If I can get it on the floor, I think it stands a good chance.

Davis, R-Baggs, added that if the online casino and poker bill becomes law in 2024, the Wyoming Gaming Commission (WGC) won’t have the marketplace ready to launch this year.

Davis told Bonus:

It will not be as fast as sports wagering.

The former WGC president noted that his bill gives the commission a deadline of Dec. 31 to create iGaming rules but says it won’t take effect until Jan. 1, 2025.

In 2021, Wyoming quickly legalized and launched sports betting. HB133 was assigned a bill number on Feb. 19, Gov. Mark Gordon signed it into law on April 5, and Wyoming saw its first legal online sports bet on Sept. 1, 2021.

The following online sportsbooks have licenses to operate in Wyoming:

  • BetMGM 
  • Caesars
  • DraftKings
  • ESPN Bet
  • Fanatics
  • FanDuel

ESPN Bet hasn’t launched there yet, and Fanatics, which is switching over many of its apps from PointsBet, lists itself as “coming soon.”

Meanwhile, the legislature’s rules say HB120 must be on its third reading by Feb. 26 in the House. The Senate deadline for the third reading is March 7. Then lawmakers must approve it by the time they adjourn around midnight on March 8. Gordon would then need to sign it before it would become law.

Next, Davis told Bonus that, unlike the WGC’s situation in 2021, it has a lot of other matters to work through this summer than creating rules for a new legal online gambling marketplace. For instance, the commission is working on horse safety integrity.

So, a marketplace launch may not happen immediately, even if HB120 is approved.

Established Rules Will Help

Davis told Bonus on Feb. 7 that Wyoming’s legalization of online sports betting means it has already done much of the work it would otherwise need to do for online casinos. For instance, geofencing is already in place.

In other words, a lot of foundational work “has already been accomplished,” he said.

So, introducing Wyoming to legal iGaming should be “relatively seamless,” considering the current sportsbook operators also have casino apps, Davis said to Bonus.

Also, establishing legal Wyoming online casino gambling will protect “the wagering public” in the nearly 600,000-resident state. That’s because they’re wagering on illegal offshore casino sites right now, said the five-year WGC veteran.

According to the US Census Bureau, nearly 80% of Wyoming’s residents are legally allowed to place sports bets. HB133 lists a legal gambling age of 18 or older. If enacted, HB120 requires the same.

Wyoming Online Casino Gambling Bill

Wyoming’s online casino operators would pay a 10% tax rate, according to HB120. That’s identical to the sportsbook tax rate.

The fiscal note attached to the iGaming bill didn’t estimate revenue from that tax other than to say it “has the potential to be significant.” Legal Sports Report noted that to-date, Wyoming sportsbooks have paid $2,017,763 in taxes. 

The 26-page-long bill also says at least five operators will pay $100,000 for the first five-year-long operating permit, then $50,000 to renew.

Matthew Kredell of PlayUSA noted on Feb. 7 that Wyoming’s federally recognized tribes, the Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation, don’t offer online sports betting.

So it’s unclear if they’ll apply for permits.

The operators who do apply may also be able to share traffic with gamblers in other states through “reciprocal agreements with permissible jurisdictions,” according to the bill. The most common example is online poker’s Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA). For example, Michigan and New Jersey joined MSIGA. So now, the state’s PokerStars bettors can play against each other.

Unlike many states with legal online casino gambling, Wyoming will allow operators to offer live dealer games without a studio in the state.

Meanwhile, every fiscal year, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) will receive $300,000 to help those experiencing problems with gambling. The WDH will distribute funds to counties to help residents suffering from gambling harm.

Bonus, PlayUSA, and LSR are Catena Media publications.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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