Wyoming Bill Would Regulate Sports Betting by 2021

  • House Bill 225 calls for the legalization of online and mobile sports betting
  • Lawmakers hope the regulated market will open no later than January 1, 2021
  • Licenses would cost an initial fee of $20,000 and remain active for 12 months
  • Another bill calls for the creation of a state gaming commission
Wyoming state sign
Lawmakers in Wyoming have introduced House Bill 225 to the House of Representatives to push for legal online and mobile sports wagering in 2021. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

House Bill 225

Wyoming lawmakers are discussing the potential of a new bill that would regulate online sports betting in the state. 

House Bill 225 was introduced to the Wyoming House of Representatives on February 12. The sponsors of this bill are Senator Ogden Driskill and Representative Tom Walters. 

the plan is to have licensed sportsbooks opened in Wyoming by January 1, 2021

There is no mention of retail sports betting as part of this bill, only mobile and online sports betting. As outlined in the bill, the plan is to have licensed sportsbooks opened in Wyoming by January 1, 2021 at the very latest. Anyone aged at least 18 years old would be able to place sports bets.

At the moment, greyhound and horse racing betting are legal in the state. Residents can also wager on fantasy sports contests. 

What we know so far

Successful applicants would have to pay an initial license fee of $20,000. These licenses would remain active for a 12-month period. A renewal fee of $10,000 would then be required each year.

A tax rate of 16% would be enforced, a rate that is about average for the current sector that operators across the US. Operators would have to pay these taxes on a monthly basis, no later than the fifth day of the following month. Funds generated by sports betting taxes would then go into the state’s general fund. 

The bill outlines a wide variety of different betting types that would be allowable with legal sports betting. This includes all of the popular types, such as single-game wagers, parlays, money lines, live betting, and prop betting.

If any party was to operate an online sports betting platform in Wyoming without a license, they would have to pay a first offense civil penalty of $5,000. For further such offenses, the penalty rises to $10,000.

Creation of a gaming commission

There is also a push in Wyoming to create a dedicated gaming commission.

This body would be in charge of all types of oversight and regulatory rules, making sure that they are enforced. As part of this legislation, the currently active Pari-Mutuel Commission would be expanded to allow for other gambling activities. 

This call follows a state task force exploring the merits of having an expanded state gaming regulation body in place. Counties in the state would opt-in to the oversight capabilities of the gaming commission rather than it being a mandatory body for every county in Wyoming.