Wyoming today approved two sets of sports betting regulations in hopes of having online sportsbooks up and running in time for football season.
Besides approving regular rules that could take additional weeks to put into place, the Wyoming Gaming Commission approved emergency regulations set to take effect as soon as they are green lighted by Gov. Mark Gordon and filed with appropriate state agencies. Both sets of rules are identical, but the emergency regs — by virtue of being deemed an “emergency” by the governor — will get sports betting online faster.
“We’re committed to getting those out the door as quickly as possible so that we don’t waste a lot of time,” said WGC Executive Director Charlie Moore.
The emergency rules will go to the governor today or tomorrow for his rubber stamp, said Moore. They will hold for 120 days, or until the regular rulemaking process — which requires review by the governor, Attorney General’s office, and legislative branch, at least — is complete.
What’s In Store For Wyoming’s Online Operators?
The emergency regulations will allow sports betting operators and vendors to get the permits they need to operate in the Cowboy State this year.
At least five operator permits must be issued “at any one time” by the commission if there are enough applicants. Sports betting vendors that provide services to the operators must be issued a permit if the vendor “is currently operating in good standing in a similar role in at least three jurisdictions” in the U.S., and has paid all required fees.
Applicants will receive a permit no later than 60 days after they apply under the emergency rules, unless the application is denied for specific reasons cited in the rules. They may also be issued a temporary permit under emergency rules.
That puts Wyoming online sports betting on a solid trajectory for later this summer, or early fall.
Here’s a basic rundown on how the licensing and regulatory process will work for online sports betting in Wyoming, with permit applications already posted online:
Sports Wagering Operators
- Application fee — $2,500
- Initial Permit Fee — $100,000, valid for 5 years
- Permit Renewal – $50,000, valid for 5 years
- Tax – 10% of online sports wagering revenue, paid monthly
Sports Wagering Vendor
- Initial Vendor Permit — $10,000, valid for 5 years
- Permit Renewal – $5,000, valid for 5 years
What Types of Online Sports Betting Will Be Allowed In Wyoming?
The regulations are pretty cryptic when it comes to types of sports wagers that will be allowed in Wyoming.
The few absolutes gleaned from a quick reading of the regs are 1) no betting on high school sports or any event where the majority of the participants are under age 18, 2) no prop bets on injuries, and 3) no betting on anything “not authorized by law or Commission rules.”
Emergency rules also state that an operator or vendor cannot “knowingly accept an online sports wager on an event or wager type whose outcome has already been determined and is publicly known.”
Besides that, the emergency rules name specifically only a few types of sports betting activity allowed with state oversight: layoff wagers, tournaments/contests or pools, and bonus or promotional wagering.
Wyoming set to work on sports betting regulations this year after the April 5, 2021 signing of online sports betting legislation in Cheyenne. Advocates of online sports betting in the state have set the Denver Broncos’ Sept. 12 season opener as a target launch date.