Wyoming Sports Betting Bill Advances To State Senate

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Wyoming is on track to legalize online sports betting after a last-minute legislative maneuver advanced a bill to the state Senate on March 10. 

House Bill 133 cleared the Wyoming House of Representatives by a vote of 32-28 after being defeated by a vote of 28-32 the day before. The earlier vote was reconsidered after a lawmaker voting “no” with the majority asked that the bill be brought up again. That gave the proposal enough support to move forward. 

Only bets placed in-state would be lawful under the proposal, unless the Wyoming Gaming Commission decides otherwise — or unless the Senate and House change that provision before the bill heads to the governor’s desk. The gaming commission would be responsible for the implementation and regulation of online sportsbooks under the current bill. 

What We Know About The Legislation

Details on which sports would be eligible for wagers, and how Wyoming sportsbooks would operate, would be up to the gaming commission. But the in-state betting requirement in the current version of the bill is firm. 

That requirement would be backed by another rule requiring sports wagering operators use geolocation for bets made through their platform. 

All operators and vendors would require a permit to operate in the state, with the cost of an initial sports wagering operator permit set at $100,000 under the bill. An initial sports wagering vendor permit fee would be $10,000. 

Other States With Online-Only Sports Betting

Wyoming’s legalization of online sports wagering would put it alongside a couple of other states with online-only sportsbooks:

  • Tennessee launched sports betting online and through mobile app in 2020 with great results — the state’s commercial sports betting handle last year was $312.3M. Sports wagers in Tennessee are handled through the state lottery, which approved wagering rules last April. Bettors can place sports wagers anywhere in the state with specific restrictions: prop betting on all NCAA football or basketball games is illegal.
  • Virginia began offering online-only sportsbooks this year after the state lottery approved a permit for FanDuel. The state will eventually allow a maximum of 12 mobile sports-betting permits per a 2020 law that legalized online sportsbooks. That said, retail sportsbooks are also on the way under another 2020 law allows five cities, including the state capital, to allow casinos by referendum. Four cities have approved casinos to date, with Richmond voting this fall.

Next Steps

The Wyoming legislature has less than a month to reach an agreement and pass sports-wagering legislation before its scheduled final adjournment on April 2. 

It remains to be seen what the Senate will do with the current bill in coming days, but estimates from the gaming commission would make it worth the state’s while to reach an agreement. Wyoming’s untapped sports-wagering market now stands at more than $449M

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Writer and Contributor
Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, she has been known to watch UK basketball from time to time.

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