Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Wyoming?
In spite of big changes in sports gambling laws across the United States, sports betting is not legal in Wyoming. That could change, however, and in this guide we explore the most important factors that may cause it to happen.
A quick look at the history of gambling in Wyoming probably won’t fill you with confidence about legal sports betting arriving in the state anytime soon. If you look closer, though, there are a few key reasons it could happen sooner than you think.
Online sports betting is already popular in the area but right now all of that money is going to unlicensed, offshore sites. Like every other state in the US, Wyoming now has the option of introducing legal sports betting and realizing the tax revenue that comes with it.
State lawmakers will now have to balance that opportunity against what the people in the state want and how it fits in with their current laws.
On this page we take a deep dive into the history of sports betting in Wyoming and the current legal situation. We’ll also look at the casinos already operating there and how that will play into the state’s plans for legal sports betting in the future.
Make sure to check back regularly because we’ll update this page with any major developments that either help or hurt Wyoming’s chances of legalizing sports gambling soon.
The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Wyoming
The 2018 US Supreme Court decision (more on that below) has the potential to bring legalized and regulated sports betting to every state in the country. Unfortunately right not there are still a few big roadblocks stopping that from happening in Wyoming.
The state of Wyoming currently defines illegal gambling as, “risking any property for gain contingent in whole or part upon lot, chance, or outcome of an event, including sporting event, over which person taking a risk has no control.”
Wyoming’s view on gambling is different than most other states. In most states the laws say that an activity is game of chance (ie a gambling activity) if a significant percentage of the outcome is deemed to be strictly based on variance.
In Wyoming, however, if there is even the slightest element of luck involved it will almost always be considered gambling and therefore illegal. The few exceptions they’ve made to this rule include charitable gambling and various forms of social gambling.
As such, to date, the law holds that all online sports betting is prohibited in the state of Wyoming. The state does have three tribal casinos, but they do not offer any sports betting options for their players either.
The prospects of legal sports betting were bleak for Wyoming, like most of the US, until the landmark Supreme Court decision of 2018 that we mentioned before.
It all started with a lawsuit brought by the state of New Jersey trying to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) which had been put in place in 1992. PASPA essentially banned sports betting at a federal level, with the only full exemption being Nevada.
In May of 2018 SCOTUS ruled in favor of New Jersey’s appeal. While it doesn’t make all sports gambling legal in America, it does offer every state the autonomy to decide for itself how it should proceed.
To date, more than 20 states in the US have legal sports betting or have introduced legislation to legalize sports betting. Wyoming, as of now, is not one of those states. Keep reading for our take on the future of regulated sports betting in Wyoming.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Wyoming
Historically, Wyoming has dragged its feet when it comes to gambling laws.
Initially, in the late 1800’s, in the days of the “wild wild west”, Wyoming was well known for its saloons and poker games, but the tables turned rather abruptly in the early part of the next century. New laws were passed that made gambling illegal in the state and it has remained one of the more conservative parts of the country in this regard ever since.
Often times lagging behind other states when it comes to adapting their gaming regulations, Wyoming hadn’t budged any of its political stances on gambling dating back to 1984 and only just recently legalized their state lottery in 2013. In fact Wyoming’s is the youngest state lottery in the entire US.
It took until the early 2000’s before they allowed the establishment of the state’s four Tribal casinos:
- 789 Casino
- Little Wind Casino
- Shoshone Rose Casino
- Wind River Casino
All four casinos are located on indigenous land roughly 130 miles to the west of Casper.
In 2016, there were discussions about the state’s lawmakers reviewing their gaming industry, which would include online gambling. However, no bills were ever brought to the table and online betting has continued to remain illegal in Wyoming.
What is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Wyoming?
Wyoming has loosened some of their gaming laws in recent years, with the most notable exception coming in 2013 with the introduction of the state lottery.
While the fact that it took so long for them to introduce a state lottery may seem like a bad omen for the future of legalized sports betting, it may be a sign that state lawmakers are more inclined to introducing gambling-based activities than in previous years.
Just recently, there was a call to form a state gaming commission, an idea that was first floated back in 2016, to assess current gaming laws and the rules and regulations around sports betting. Proponents of sports gambling in the state hope this will include creating a less strict legal distinction for games of chance vs. games of skill.
This is an argument that factors hugely into games like poker and fantasy sports, as well as traditional sports betting. In many states, if an activity like betting on sports can be classified as a game of skill, the red tape involved in legalizing it is greatly reduced.
While it remains to be seen if anything will come from this legislative meeting, Wyoming lawmakers and politicians may be persuaded to make a change if they see other states having success with legalized sports betting.
Sports betting in the US is a multi-billion dollar industry and states stand to received big revenues in the form of taxes and licensing fees. Many states that are still clinging to the past will be swayed by the potential profits. Many reluctant states are also adopting a “wait and see” approach whereby they can observe other nearby states that are legalizing sports betting to see how it works out for them.
Since more and more states are already jumping on board and making smooth transitions to offering legal sports gambling, we predict a snowball effect over the next few years that will pull in many more states.
The fact that Wyoming already has tribal casinos makes it that much easier to introduce live sportsbooks in those locations, followed by online sports betting options.
Only time will tell whether this happens in Wyoming but it is undoubtedly a very different legal climate than before the SCOTUS decision.
Which Online Sports Betting Sites are Legal in Wyoming?
There are no legal sports betting sites in Wyoming. However, players living within Wyoming have the ability to access a number of offshore betting sites.
It’s not technically illegal for Americans to gamble at offshore casinos and sportsbooks but it’s naive to say there’s no risk in doing so. Sites like this aren’t regulated by the US and they’re usually based in far-off countries with very lax regulations.
That means if you run into a problem with your account or the company goes out of business, for example, you have very little recourse.
If and when legal sports betting comes to Wyoming there will be 100% safe and secure betting sites located in the US. Expect the first sites to be operated by Wyoming’s existing land casinos with more sites entering the market as things become more developed.
From what we’ve seen in other states, the first online betting options are usually powered by the top software developers in the gambling space so you can expect a top-notch experience.
Make sure to check back on this page for a lineup of the very best legal sports betting sites accepting players from Wyoming.
What Sports Can You Bet on Online in Wyoming?
There are no sports that can be bet on legally in Wyoming but if legal sports betting comes to the state, residents will be able to bet on basically every sport around the US and the world. The main North America sports, namely NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL lead the charge as well as betting on NASCAR, golf, and soccer are expected to draw the most action.
While there are no pro sports teams in the state, Wyoming’s minor league teams get a lot of support. These include:
- Cheyenne Grizzlies (baseball)
- Wyoming Knights (football)
- Laramie Colts (baseball)
- Wyoming Calvary (indoor football)
- Yellowstone Quake (hockey)
With the repeal of PASPA both professional and amateur sports are on the table for betting and if it becomes regulated in Wyoming we expect a decent amount of action on the state’s minor-league franchises.
Is There No Deposit Sports Betting in Wyoming?
Given that online sports betting is still illegal, the issue of no deposit betting is currently moot. However, in the event that online sports betting becomes legal, gamblers in Wyoming can expect a similar approach to what other states are currently offering.
In most states, betters are required to make a deposit before they can make real money bets. However, there is a special promotion called a no-deposit bonus that gives punters free bets right off the bat. It’s important to understand that deals like this always come with fine print.
The most common strings to look for are that you can only every withdraw the profits from free bets, not the original stake itself. As well, there will most likely be a playthrough requirement that must be satisfied before any profits can be withdrawn. This basically means you must wager the stake a certain number of times within a certain time frame to “clear” the bonus.
This is all standard practice across casinos and sportsbooks around the world when it comes to no deposit bonuses.
Just remember, depositing rules vary depending on the online sportsbook you choose to use, so make sure to do your research before accepting the deal.
What This Means For You
While Wyoming’s history may make it seem like legalized sports betting is a long way away, there are reasons to be optimistic.
The introduction of a state lottery in 2013 tells us that lawmakers are motivated by revenue. We also know that people in Wyoming are passionate about sports and gambling.
According to one local Senator, hundreds of millions of dollars each year are illegally wagered in the state, providing further support for the argument that the state needs to take advantage of the Supreme Court ruling and divert that money into its own coffers.
Pressure will continue to build as more and more states adopt the legal sports betting industry.
We predict that Wyoming will not make these big changes overnight but that eventually it will happen. If you live in Wyoming, sit tight. The chances for legal sports gambling are better than ever before.
For more information about sports gambling in other parts of the US, check out our comprehensive guide and see which US states have legal sports betting.