Gambling Laws in Wyoming
The gambling laws in Wyoming are very tight and inflexible, and show no signs of becoming any easier to deal with in the coming years. At the time of writing, there are not any forms of online gambling that have been legalized by the state, though the practice of daily fantasy sports continues to operate in something of a grey zone. This grey zone, though, is not something we’d promote you to test as the authorities could choose to come down hard on participants. At this stage, there are four legal Native American tribal casinos in operation, which have been happily enjoying the outcome of a 15 year legal battle for the right to exist. They offer legal poker games alongside casino favorites like slots, blackjack and roulette, and are all found along the Wind River Indian Reservation. One of the main reasons that little seems likely to change in terms of legalizing gambling is the state’s small population – as the least populous state, there is not enough pressure from the people, nor enough benefits for the state in terms of tax income from gambling for it to be worth the effort of legislation.
- We have a holistic understanding of the Wyoming gambling laws and monitor potential changes to the state legislature
- We keep a close watch on the breaking news through trusted resources including the Casper Star-Tribune and the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.
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- Casper Star-Tribune
- Wyoming Tribune Eagle
- Pari-mutuel commission
- Wyoming state government
Wyoming Sports Betting
There are no legal ways to place sports bets online in the state of Wyoming. The case for land-based bets isn’t much more flexible either: there are no sports betting options in the state apart from pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing. This seems unlikely to change, as the state is rather slow when it comes to making new gambling legislation.
Wyoming Daily Fantasy
Wyoming is one of the many states that haven’t made any legislation that either legalizes or bans daily fantasy sports, leaving it in something of a grey zone. The Wyoming law bans all forms of gambling that don’t have a specific exception, like the lottery and Native American casinos. The law defines gambling as the potential to lose something of value to a matter of chance, or chance in part. Though some operators have said that daily fantasy sports are a skill-based game and are therefore legal, daily fantasy sports are considered to be illegal. Though Wyoming authorities are not tracking down individuals who are participating in daily fantasy sports at this time, it is within their right to do so and players could be penalized.
Wyoming does not have any legal online casinos for its residents to use, and using ones from other states is also illegal. There are currently four Native American tribal casinos in the state, which have been active since 2005-2006. There was a huge legal battle between the state authorities and the Arapaho tribe after the Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was passed in 1989, drawing out the process. The state’s resistance to gambling is clearest through the process that took place in order to settle on the current Tribal casino situation, and makes it seem very unlikely that the state would expand its casino gambling legalization into the online sphere without a similar amount of fight.
Once understanding the state’s hesitance towards gambling in general, it comes as no surprise to find out that online poker is also illegal. There are some games offered in the tribal casinos, which is the best option for Wyomingites who want to join groups of strangers, as the rules for social games are strict. You need to be able to prove a pre-existing relationship with the players in order for it to be actually considered ‘social’ and therefore legal. The host may not take a fee.
The Wyoming Lottery is one of the newer lotteries that states have started, dating back less than a decade to 2013. This is surprisingly young, compared to others that have been around for half a century or more. The WyoLotto options include Cowboy Draw, Powerball, Mega Millions and Lucky For Life. There are no ways of purchasing tickets online or through the mail – instead players over 21 must be in person in a retail store to play lottery games.
History of Gambling in Wyoming
Wyoming’s gambling history doesn’t have a lot of milestones to it, because the state is so resistant to change in this area that there has been little movement. The table below shows the highlights, but doesn’t go into depth on the huge legal battles that have happened as it’s mostly just one, long and drawn out process. The most recent change has been the legalization of the lottery in 2013, some 50-60 years after most other states.
|1967||The Pari-mutuel racing commission is founded.|
|1989||The Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act passes. Wyoming remains in legal battles.|
|2005||The Arapaho tribe is given the right to offer casino games after an appeal to the federal court|
|2006||Further Native American tribes in Wyoming are also given permission to build casinos.|
|2013||The Wyoming lottery is legalized.|
Wyoming State Facts
Wyoming was the first state in the USA to give women the right to vote. Interestingly, for such a progressive state, it is in fact very dated when it comes to gambling laws. The four casinos were hard-won after the drawn out legal battles, and there haven’t been any attempts to legalize any forms of online gambling, whether it be selling online lottery tickets, internet casinos, poker online or even online sports betting.
|Biggest Offline Gambling Location||Wind River Hotel & Casino|
|Gambling Commissioner||Wyoming Gaming Commission|
|Biggest Local Sports Team||University of Wyoming Cowboys|
|Wyoming Tax Authority||Wyoming Department of Revenue|
|Link to the State Law||Justia|
|Gambling Winning Tax||Income Tax|
|State Website Link||https://www.wyoleg.gov/|
|Famous Local Gamblers||Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu|
Gambling Age in Wyoming
There are different gambling ages for the various types of legal gambling that are available, which is something of a standard practice across the country. However, interestingly, Wyoming has a lower age of entry for the casinos than it does for the lottery, which are 18 and 21 respectively. Further to this age discrepancy, the state’s racinos allow those over 18 to place pari-mutuel wagers on the horse races, but they must be 21 or over to use the lottery machines on the racino grounds.
Online Gambling Age:
Responsible Gambling and Addiction Prevention
Although Wyoming joined 29 other states in contributing to the Problem Gambling Fund in 2013 when it legalized the lottery, it is no longer doing so and does not have any state supported treatments for problem gamblers. Though it is not an affiliate, the state lottery company does continue to point Wyomingites to the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG). The NCPG offers a helpline, which could be useful for the estimated 2.2% of adults in the state that are believed to have a gambling problem.
Upcoming Regulation and Expected Changes
There are no expected regulatory changes to the gambling legislation in Wyoming. The closest thing to movement was a report from the Casper Star-Tribune which announced that there was an idea for the Wyoming Pari-mutuel Commission to take on the regulation of further sports betting. However, the members of the Commission threatened retirement should this enormous additional workload be made their responsibility, so it is unlikely to proceed.