Wyoming Inches Toward Sports Betting, But No Start Date In Sight

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The Wyoming Gaming Commission met Tuesday and agreed to a modified set of rules establishing the framework for the state to allow online-only Wyoming sports betting come the fall.

Once in place, Wyoming will become the second state, behind Tennessee, to have an online-only sports betting program.

The big question remaining, though, is when exactly the application and licensing process for sportsbooks would begin so that Cowboy State residents can place bets on their favorite teams.

During the hearing Chris Cipolla, a representative from FanDuel, asked commissioners about a timeline.

“Thank you for the question,” Bob Davis, president of the commission, said, adding that right now the group was focused on getting all the legalese worked out.

“My focus is what we have right here in front of us,” he continued.

“I’m not answering your question…we’ve got a lot on our plate right now,” he concluded.

What’s Next for Wyoming Sports Betting

Lawmakers approved legislation earlier this year establishing online sports betting. The law, signed by Governor Mark Gordon, set a September 1 deadline for setting up the regulatory framework. A previous version of the bill set a July 1 deadline.

By approving the modified rules yesterday, it is likely sports betting will be up and running for some of the NFL season — a key date for the state that boasts a large number of Denver Broncos fans. But there are still legal hurdles to overcome.

The rules must be sent to Gordon for his review, which will be done Friday.  The public will also have a chance to chime in with a 45-day public comment window. Once the rules are finalized it could take the state several months to get the program operational.

The Broncos’ first game is Sept.12 against the New York Giants, so while theoretically possible, it appears unlikely bets will be a go at the start of the season.

What Sports Betting Will Look Like In Wyoming

The biggest difference between Wyoming and most other states that have allowed sports betting is the minimum age: 18.

Otherwise, the bill is largely based on legislation passed last year in Colorado.

Only operators with an existing presence in at least three other states will be allowed to operate in Wyoming.

State Rep. Tom Walters, who led the fight to bring online sports betting to Wyoming, said the move to make it online-only was deliberate.

“We don’t want a casino on every corner. We are still a quiet, little, conservative state [and] we don’t want to intrude on others,” he told Gaming Today in an April interview.

About the Author

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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