History Behind Proposed Sports Betting Bill in Wyoming
Wyoming has had little to no luck with legal sports legislation. Individual states were allowed to begin legalizing sports betting following the Supreme Court’s decision on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. The Supreme Court ruled that PASPA was unconstitutional by a 6-3 decision in 2018.
One sports betting bill has been proposed in Wyoming since PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court. This bill failed in October of 2018 in a narrow decision on the Wyoming House floor. Representative Tom Walter proposed the bill. Industry experts thought this bill had a chance, but a 27-32 vote ended the chance for legal sports betting in 2020.
This bill didn’t pass because Wyoming just doesn’t have a gambling culture. Countless legislators in the state oppose sports betting. The failed 2020 bill didn’t give legislators that favor sports betting a positive future outlook for the method of gambling in the state.
The gambling market in Wyoming is very small. The state only supports dog and horse racing. There are unregulated video gambling machines in bars throughout the state. These machines are popular, which shows that sports betting has a place in the state. Sports betting only lost by five votes in the House. This has given the state some hope that sports betting could pass in the relatively near future.
What Sports Betting Bill in Wyoming Says
Representative Tom Walter proposed the state’s only sports betting bill in 2020. It failed, but future bills will most likely resemble Walter’s H 225 bill. H 225 was a basic sports betting bill, but it didn’t provide a necessary framework to pass in the Wyoming House of Representatives.
Wyoming doesn’t have any casinos, so the bill only regulated online and mobile sports betting. Online betting has yielded more revenue throughout the nation than retail books. The lack of casinos in Wyoming isn’t going to set the state back in any capacity.
Under this bill, the tax rate for sportsbooks operating in the state would have been 16%. The laws under H 225 were very light for Wyoming sportsbooks. A 16% tax rate isn’t high relative to other legal sports betting states. Sportsbooks would have to pay a $20,000 licensing fee. In addition to this, Representative Walter wanted sportsbooks to pay $10,000 annually for operating in the state.
If H 225 would’ve been passed, sports betting would’ve launched in 2021. If a sports betting bill were to pass this year, it’s likely that the form of gambling wouldn’t launch until 2022. The bill didn’t limit the number of sportsbooks that could operate in the state. DraftKings and FanDuel expressed interest in launching in the state. Unfortunately, their lobbying efforts didn’t help H 225 pass.
What’s Holding Sports Betting Bill Back in Wyoming
Wyoming’s initial sports betting bill died in 2020 on the House floor. Wyoming doesn’t have a gambling culture, so this isn’t beneficial for implementing sports betting. Wyoming has a substantial Republican majority. Typically, conservative states stay away from sports betting. Democratic legislators tend to support sports betting, so Wyoming’s culture strongly opposes sports betting. Considering this fact, it’s surprising that sports betting almost passed in the House.
Wyoming hasn’t voted for a Democrat in the presidential election since Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964. In 2016, President Trump won all but one county in the state. Following the H 225 vote, Representative Tom Walter claimed that the vote didn’t pass because there isn’t a majority of people in the government that support sports betting or gambling as a whole. Some legislators don’t want to open their mind to the benefit of sports betting.
Sports betting would provide the state with much more disposable tax revenue. Extra tax money is more important now than ever in the state of Wyoming because of the COVID pandemic recovery.
Sports betting is still popular amongst residents of the state. The offshore sports betting market is very popular in the state because there is a small amount of legal gambling in the state. When Republican legislators realize this fact, this may sway the state government in favor of sports betting.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Wyoming
There are no professional sports teams in the state of Wyoming. Wyoming does have some colleges that compete in the state, but it’s unlikely that bettors in the state will be able to wager these teams when sports betting becomes legal. If sports betting passes, the state is expected to have some hefty restrictions.
People in Wyoming are forced to support professional sports teams that compete in other states. Wyoming residents favor countless teams all over the country, but people in the state typically root for franchises in border states. Wyoming is positioned between six states. However, only two of the states that sit next to Washington have major professional sports teams.
These two states are Utah and Colorado. The Utah Jazz compete in Salt Lake City. They play in the NBA’s Western Conference Northwest Division. Colorado is the largest professional sports market that surrounds Wyoming. The Denver Nuggets, Denver Broncos, Colorado Rockies, and Colorado Avalanche call the state of Colorado home. Colorado has a professional sports team in every major sports league, so Wyoming residents don’t have to look far to find a somewhat local team to support.
Additionally, many people in Wyoming love the Buffalo Bills. This is because University of Wyoming legend, Josh Allen, was Buffalo’s first-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
FAQ for Betting in Wyoming
Is sports betting legal in Wyoming?
No, sports betting isn’t legal in Washington as of the beginning of 2021. A bill was proposed in 2020, but it died on the House floor. A bill is expected to be proposed again in 2021, but the state’s culture doesn’t really support gambling.
What’s holding back sports betting in the state?
Wyoming is a conservative state. Typically, Republican legislators don’t support sports betting. The possibility of sports betting in Wyoming is gaining traction, but the form of gambling still has a long way to go before becoming legal in the state. Wyoming has no state-regulated casinos, so sports betting would be a big victory for state bettors.
What will sports betting look like in Wyoming?
Wyoming doesn’t have any casinos, so retail sportsbooks will most likely be nonexistent. This gives the indication that sports betting will be solely available in an online format. The bill that died in 2020 didn’t limit the number of sportsbooks that could operate in the state. DraftKings and FanDuel both expressed interest in expanding their platform to Wyoming if sports betting ever becomes legal in the state.
What will the legal sports betting age be in Wyoming?
The legal sports betting age will most likely be 18 years of age.
What’s the expected launch date for sports betting in Wyoming?
Sports betting will probably launch one calendar year after a bill passes. If the 2020 Wyoming sports betting bill would’ve passed, the industry would’ve launched in 2021.