Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Wyoming?
In April 2021, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon signed sports betting bill – House Bill 133 (HB 133) into law, and now online sports betting/mobile sports betting is legal in Wyoming. This came after big changes began taking place in sports gambling laws across the United States. Wyoming gradually made a shift in its fiscal priorities and now sports betting in that state could launch as soon as September.
Until recently, a quick look at the history of gambling in Wyoming would not fill anyone with confidence about legal sports betting arriving in the state anytime soon. But thanks to the relentless efforts of Rep. Tom Walters, HB 133 has finally become a WY law.
Wyoming is also the first U.S. state to permit wagering licensees to accept cryptocurrencies as deposits to customers’ accounts, though that option will be up to each license.
Online sports betting had already been popular in the area, but that money was going to unlicensed, offshore sites. Now every state in the US has the option of introducing legal sports betting and realizing the tax revenue that comes with it.
WY state lawmakers failed to pass similar legislation in 2020, and initially, in 2021 the House voted against moving HB 133. A day later, though, they reconvened and passed it 32-4 and with a few small amendments added, so did the Senate and the Governor.
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 starting as soon as September.
Make sure to check back regularly because we’ll update this page with any major developments on Wyoming’s new legal online sports gambling operation.
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The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in Wyoming
Online sports gambling is legal now in Wyoming.
Until the recent passage of HB 133, though, the state of Wyoming defined illegal gambling as, “risking any property for gain contingent in whole or part upon lot, chance, or outcome of an event, including sporting events, over which person taking a risk has no control.”
Wyoming’s view on gambling was different from most other states. In most states, the laws say that an activity is a game of chance (i.e. a gambling activity) if a significant percentage of the outcome is deemed to be strictly based on variance.
In Wyoming, however, if there was even the slightest element of luck involved it was almost always considered gambling and therefore illegal. The few exceptions they had made to this rule included charitable gambling and various forms of social gambling.
For years the prospects of legal sports betting were bleak for Wyoming, like most of the US, until the landmark Supreme Court decision of 2018.
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 and now Wyoming is one of them.
That happened when Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed HB 133 into law in April 2021, and now his state begins the process of making that a reality.
The state of Wyoming has three tribal casinos, but up until HB 133 passed they did not offer any sports betting options for their players. That’s bound to change in the near future.
The History of Online Sports Betting in Wyoming
Historically, Wyoming has dragged its feet when it comes to gambling laws.
Initially, in the late 1800s, 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.
Oftentimes 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 is the youngest state lottery in the entire US.
It took until the early 2000s 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, so online betting continued to remain illegal in Wyoming.
In 2020, Rep. Tom Walters pushed the idea of sports betting legislation, but at that time it failed to move past the House of Representatives in the state.
What Does Legal Online Sports Betting Mean for Wyoming?
Wyoming had already loosened some of its gaming laws in recent years, with the most notable exception coming in 2013 with the introduction of the state lottery.
Sports betting in the US has become a multi-billion dollar industry and states stand to receive big revenues in the form of taxes and licensing fees.
The Wyoming Gaming Commission has estimated the state could eventually see up to $449 million in bets each year. Plus, operators will have to pay a $100,000 initial five-year license fee with a $50,000 renewal fee, giving the state even more recurring revenue.
There will also be a 10% tax on gaming revenues with the first $300,000 of that money earmarked for gambling addiction treatment.
Many other states are still clinging to the past, but, like Wyoming, will be swayed by these 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 like Wyoming 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, as well as online sports betting options.
What is the Future of Online Sports Betting in Wyoming?
Wyoming has loosened some of its 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?
Now that online sports betting has been made legal in Wyoming, at least five sportsbook operators are expected. Only sportsbooks operating in at least three other states will qualify for application.
Some of the operators who qualify are:
- Barstool Sportsbook
- William Hill
Players living within Wyoming will still have the ability to access a number of offshore betting sites making for the state being a great sports betting market.
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.
WY state officials are expecting those offshore gambling profits to begin to decrease and start shifting over to Wyoming’s new legal sites.
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?
Now that legal sports wagering is coming to the state of Wyoming, 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. College sports is also up for grabs.
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 Cavalry (indoor football)
- Yellowstone Quake (hockey)
With the repeal of PASPA, both professional and amateur sports are on the table for betting and now that it will become 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?
Now that online sports betting is legal in Wyoming, when it comes to No Deposit sports betting, gamblers in that state 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 Wyoming Sports Betting Means For You
In a recent committee hearing, Wyoming Gaming Commission Director Charles Moore agreed to a target online sports betting launch date of September 1, 2021. This was after an initial suggestion of July 1 was deemed too quick a turnaround.
Right now, sports betting in Wyoming will be online only, with at least five sportsbook operators expected. This will give gamblers the ability to shop around for the best odds available, something that can help to give bettors a slight edge.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming has plans to launch a sports betting operation on the Wind River Reservation in the coming months. Like many in the live gambling industry, they hope to recover from months of closure due to the worldwide pandemic.
Whether Wyoming sports gamblers will be able to use digital, crypto or virtual currencies to make bets will be up to each betting license, but it is permitted according to HB 133.
HB 133 sponsor Rep. Tom Walters had this to say to his constituency:
“[This bill is] something I’ve actually worked on not just this session, but I worked on it last session. So to see it pass ultimately is very exciting. I think it’s good for the people of Wyoming because it allows for this regulated market.”
It’s an exciting time for Wyoming sports gamblers and we will keep you up to date here on any new developments.
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.
Wyoming Sports Betting FAQ
Is mobile sports betting legal in Wyoming?
Yes, online/mobile sports betting is now legal in Wyoming as of the signing of House Bill 133.
When will sports betting be available in Wyoming now that it is legal?
After the legalization of sports betting in the state look to having real money sportsbooks being up and running around September 2021.
Can I bet with cryptocurrency in Wyoming?
Yes, Wyoming is the first state in the Union to allow players to deposit funds with cryptocurrency onto their sportsbooks.