A recent bill was fired in the state of Wyoming that could ultimately lead to the presence of online casinos in the state. Republican Robert Davis introduced House Bill 120 on Tuesday night, and it aims to legalize the growing industry in an unlikely state.
There have already been five other states that have seen an iGaming bill introduced in 2024, but most of those states have a large gaming industry. Wyoming does have casinos and sports betting, but the market is very small compared to some others.
This is a budget year in the state of Wyoming so lawmakers would have to work extremely fast if they wanted to get a bill legalized. Even though this bill is still in the early stages, some of the language is consistent with other states with this industry.
Rhode Island was able to introduce an iGaming bill and get it legalized year, and now Wyoming is trying to accomplish the same thing. Since this bill was only introduced two days ago, opposition has not been heard from any of the major groups in the state.
Two Tribes to Watch
The Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation and the Northern Arapaho Tribe are the two federally recognized Native American tribes in Wyoming. Both of those tribes have two casinos in the state, but neither of them has been very interested in adding new gaming options.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe does offer some sports betting, but there are sportsbook apps in the state that have become more popular. These tribes could stand to lose some money if online casinos were entering the state, and the tribes will at least have to be consulted.
When sports betting was established in Wyoming back in 2021, it was done so without using the Native American tribes to run things. That is extremely unusual as most states with tribal casinos have had to include those groups.
The four companies that currently offer sports betting in Wyoming are BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel, and each company is capable of adding online casinos to their platforms as well.
Most of the language in the new bill is similar to the sports betting legislation, and that could convince lawmakers to act extremely fast.
Initial Details Available
This was just the first draft of the bill from Davis, but he did work with the Wyoming Gaming Commission in order to come up with some basic rules. There would be a minimum of five online casino licenses handed out, but there currently isn’t a maximum that is set.
The online casino gambling age would be set at just 18 years of age, and would be available to those throughout the state. Davis wants to keep things simple for the casino operators as the initial fee would be just $100,000.
This bill also allows for multistate agreements to be made, which would allow players to enter tournaments against competitors from other states. Some of these details are going to change as time moves on, but this is a good start from Davis.
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