A long way to go
A Wyoming online sports betting legalization bill that would allow for cryptocurrency payments got passage on Monday in the House Committee of the Whole.
could set a precedent for other states to follow suit
Approval came after the second reading of House Bill 0133 (HB 133). This is the furthest that any sports betting bill allowing for cryptocurrency payments has gotten in a US state legislature. If successful, HB 133 could set a precedent for other states to follow suit.
The bill will still need consideration from a number of different House committees and undergo a vote on the floor before it progresses to the Senate. It will then require Senate approval before it can make its way to Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon’s desk for signing.
The adjournment date of the current legislative session in Wyoming is April 2, with no date set for the next bill hearing.
Taking an online-only approach
In its current form, HB 133 would only legalize online sports betting, which would make Wyoming only the second state to allow online sportsbooks and no retail operations. Tennessee is currently the only state with this type of legal betting framework. The bill would also only allow sportsbook operators that have licenses in at least five other US jurisdictions to get a license in Wyoming.
would make Wyoming only the second state to allow online sportsbooks and no retail operations
Another standout aspect of the bill is the wide range of acceptable transaction methods it proposes. Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, prepaid vouchers, personal checks, and money orders are all included. Said options are in addition to the standard use of debit and credit cards.
Betting would be allowable on all sports events provided that the participating athletes are at least 18 years old. The activity would include betting on esports, which is only available in a few states at the moment. HB1033 also proposes a 10% tax rate on the revenue of online sportsbooks, payable to the Wyoming Gaming Commission each month. The money would then go into the state’s general fund.
Other attempts at expansion in Wyoming
This is not the first attempt to legalize sports betting in Wyoming. Lawmakers introduced House Bill 225 in the House in February 2020, but the bill was ultimately unsuccessful.
House Bill 225 also aimed to introduce online-only sports betting and proposed a 16% tax rate on sports betting revenues. The measure advanced to the House floor but was rejected following a 32-27 vote against its passage. Anti-gambling lawmakers were a key reason for its failure.
Last October, the Northern Arapaho Tribe announced it would roll out retail sports wagering in Wyoming in the near future. In a press release, it said it was able to do so without approval from the state.