Wyoming Sports Betting Rules Ready By Next Week

Posted on June 2, 2021
Wyoming sports betting

Final rules for Wyoming sports betting should be set next week.

The Wyoming Gaming Commission will hold a meeting June 8 with hopes of finalizing the rules for sports betting in Wyoming. Executive Director Charles Moore laid out that expectation at the commission’s normal June meeting on Tuesday.

Moore read edits of the rules page-by-page in the meeting. Most edits were small, clarifying language changes. BetMGM, DraftKings and FanDuel all submitted comments during the rule-making process for the all-online market.

Speedy Wyoming sports betting process

Gov. Mark Gordon signed sports betting legislation into law April 5. The legalization was a small surprise, as HB 133 initially was voted down in the House.

The chamber reconsidered the bill a day later and passed it 32-4. The Senate approved it 24-5.

Moore agreed to an expedited timeline with a goal to launch Sept. 1 during legislative committee hearings. The agency has worked with stakeholders to draft rules and keep to the launch goal.

Sports betting stakeholders chime in

The most recent set of Wyoming sports betting rules addressed comments and suggestions from BetMGM and DraftKings. FanDuel’s comments arrived later and the Gaming Commission will consider them for the final set. Several FanDuel representatives were present at Tuesday’s meeting.

One concern was a rule requiring commission approval of subtracting voided bets from revenue. Additionally, FanDuel Director of Government Affairs Andrew Winchell asked for clarification on if the operator’s reserve bank account needs to be in Wyoming. The commission wants to keep that rule.

Another prickly point for FanDuel is the commission’s desire for an annual audit of internal control procedures. The representatives felt the audit request was different than other jurisdictions’ technical platform audits, with FanDuel Director of Legal & Regulatory Affairs Alex Smith saying it “would be a first for us.”

All online market

With no commercial casinos, the legislators opted for online-only sports betting in Wyoming. The commission “shall not issue less than five sports wagering operator permits.”

Along with the three operators mentioned during Tuesday’s meeting, Superbook and Golden Entertainment participated in stakeholder meetings.

The state’s four tribal casinos can offer sports betting with their Class III licenses. In October 2020, the Northern Arapaho Tribe announced it would launch sports betting in Wyoming.

Wyoming sports betting fees

The commission will charge $100,000 for an initial five-year sports betting operator permit. The commission will charge a renewal fee will be $50,000.

The state will levy a 10% tax on online sports wagering revenue.

Earlier estimates by the commission suggest the state’s handle could reach $449 million annually.

Smallest state prepares for bets

Wyoming is the smallest state in the US. With a population of fewer than 600,000, the state is smaller than Washington, D.C.

Unlike the nation’s capital, Wyoming will not be saddled with an operator monopoly that has greatly limited DC’s sports betting revenue potential. The capital’s handle through April was $137.6 million since May 2020.

Nearly $103 million, however, of that came from William Hill, which has a retail sportsbook and geofenced app at Captial One Arena.

Along with existing sports betting markets in Montana and Colorado, governors from the neighboring states Nebraska and South Dakota recently signed sports betting legislation into law. Colorado, however, is the only neighboring state with a competitive mobile market.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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