Wyoming Legislators Introduce iGaming Bill

Wyoming is making headlines with its latest legislative endeavor to integrate online casino gaming into its established betting landscape. House Bill 120, spearheaded by Rep. Robert Davis, alongside co-sponsors including Rep. Jon Conrad, aims to catapult the state into the forefront of the iGaming industry by 2025. The state already allows online sports betting as of September 01, 2021 with the House Bill 133.

This initiative, which took industry observers by surprise, positions Wyoming as a dark horse in the race to expand digital gambling offerings in the United States.

Rep. Davis, reflecting on the motivations behind the bill, emphasized the importance of transitioning from unregulated to regulated gaming environments. Legalizing iGaming is about safeguarding Wyomingites from illegal gaming activities proliferating across the state, Davis remarked, highlighting the bill’s priority to protect the public from offshore platforms.

The legislation seeks to appoint the Wyoming Gaming Commission (WGC) as the regulatory authority, stipulating the issuance of no fewer than five interactive gaming operator permits. It sets a precedent for a regulated, safe, and legal online gaming environment, with a keen focus on consumer protection.

 

online casino igaming

Online Casino iGaming

The bill outlines a comprehensive framework for online casino gaming, including a variety of internet-based casino games such as poker, blackjack, and slots.

An interesting feature of the proposed legislation is its allowance for operators to engage in reciprocal agreements with other jurisdictions, a critical factor for poker’s viability in the state with the least population in the U.S.

Moreover, the bill proposes a tax rate of 10% on online casino revenues, aligning with the state’s existing sports betting tax rate, and earmarks $300,000 annually towards problem gambling programs.

Wyoming’s approach to iGaming is built on the foundations laid by the legalization of online sports betting in 2021. The existing infrastructure, including geofencing technologies, is anticipated to facilitate a seamless integration of casino gaming into the state’s digital gambling portfolio.

A lot of foundational work has already been accomplished, making the introduction of legal iGaming relatively seamless, Davis noted, underscoring the efficiency of leveraging existing regulatory frameworks.

The bill’s introduction has sparked a conversation about the role of the state’s federally recognized tribes, the Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, in the emerging iGaming landscape. While the tribes currently do not offer online sports betting, their potential involvement in online casino gaming remains a subject of interest and speculation.

As Wyoming’s legislative session unfolds, the bill’s prospects hinge on garnering sufficient support among lawmakers and navigating the state’s expedited legislative process. With a short window for consideration, the bill’s fate will likely be decided by mid-February.

If successful, Wyoming’s bold foray into online casino gaming could herald a new era for iGaming across the United States, underscoring the state’s commitment to innovation and public protection in the digital age.

References:

  1. Wyoming HB0120 | 2024 | Budget Session. LegiScan. https://legiscan.com/WY/text/HB0120/2024
  2. HB0133 – Online sports wagering. Retrieved February 8, 2024, from https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2021/HB0133

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In 2005, Tsvetan Tarpov began his academic journey, dedicating four years to studying Law in the sea capital of Bulgaria - Varna. Upon completion, he shifted his focus to Plovdiv, spending another four years immersed in the study of International Relations. This solid educational foundation, especially his exposure to Law, sharpened his eye for detail.

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