There is no legal Wyoming sports betting after a bill failed in the House in 2020. But a close vote suggests another try in 2021 could go differently.
The bill called for mobile and online WY sports betting because there are no commercial casinos in the state. There are four tribal casinos operated by two Native American tribes.
Since those tribes can offer Class III gaming, they also would have received the right to offer sports betting at their casinos.
When will online sports betting launch in Wyoming?
Online Wyoming sports betting won’t launch until at least 2021 after an effort to legalize it failed in 2020.
But there’s no guarantee an online sports betting bill passes next year, either. H 225 from Rep. Tom Walters and Sen. Ogden Driskill, didn’t have the votes this year as the bill failed 32-27 on the House floor.
The close vote shows legalizing in 2021 could be possible, he said, but there are some in Wyoming that still don’t have an appetite for gambling.
Recent Wyoming sports betting and DFS stories
Legal betting options in Wyoming
Right now, there are no legal betting options in Wyoming. And there aren’t many legal betting options near Wyoming, either. Just one of its border states, Colorado, launched mobile sports betting in May 2020.
That doesn’t mean people are skipping sports betting in the state, however. It just isn’t through legal channels.
There are offshore sportsbook websites and apps that advertise they can take bets from anywhere in the United States, including Wyoming.
But it’s illegal for those sportsbooks to accept those bets. There are no gambling organizations that are licensed at a federal level in the United States. It’s up to regulators in individual states and jurisdictions to decide who can operate under their supervision.
Betting with those sportsbook operators also leaves the bettor with no consumer protections. Those sportsbooks could choose not to pay out winning bets or could close their operations without returning customer funds.
Most popular sports to bet on in Wyoming
Wyoming is a beautiful state known for its outdoor activities, but it’s seriously lacking when it comes to sports entertainment.
It’s likely football would be the most popular sport, given it is in most states in the US. But it’s hard to nail down a favorite team that could get the support of locals.
There are no professional teams in Wyoming. And, outside of the four major sports teams in Colorado (the MLB‘s Colorado Rockies, the NBA‘s Denver Nuggets, the NHL‘s Colorado Avalanche and the NFL‘s Denver Broncos) only one of its other five border states has a professional team (the NBA’s Utah Jazz).
The University of Wyoming does have Division I sports programs in the Mountain West Conference, but there’s no guarantee betting on local colleges would be allowed under state law. The bill filed in 2020 would have banned betting on any local colleges or any collegiate event played in Wyoming.
Wyoming and Daily Fantasy Sports
Wyoming is one of the many states in the US that does not outlaw daily fantasy sports, but there’s no law regulating the contests, either.
Is horse racing legal in Wyoming?
Yes, horse racing is legal in Wyoming. There are three tracks that offer live racing:
- Energy Downs in Gillette, operated by Wyoming Horse Racing
- Sweetwater Events in Rock Springs, operated by Wyoming Horse Racing
- Wyoming Downs Racetrack in Evanston, operated by Wyoming Downs
In addition, betting on horse racing is also legal in Wyoming.
There are 12 off-track betting facilities throughout the state. Wyoming Downs operates seven of those facilities while Wyoming Horse Racing operates five.
Another option for betting on horse racing is through advance deposit wagering operators. These let bettors place horse racing bets on their desktop or mobile devices.
Historic horse racing machines, which look like slot machines but actually pay out based on previously-run horse races, are also legal in the state.
Wyoming sports betting timeline
2020: Rep. Tom Walters and Sen. Ogden Driskill sponsored H 225, which would have legalized sports betting on mobile devices and online, to the House in mid-February.
It was killed on the House floor by a 27-32 vote just 16 days later.
The bill would have legalized an unlimited number of sports betting licenses at a $20,000 initial cost and a $10,000 annual renewal fee. Sports betting revenue would have been taxed at 16%.
Walters told Legal Sports Report he wasn’t sure how the vote would turn out as there were some voters on the fence of whether to vote for or against the bill. Five of those voters, he said, eventually voted no.
The appetite for expanded gambling wasn’t there this year, but the close vote suggests another effort could turn out differently in 2021, he added.
Wyoming sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Wyoming?
No, sports betting is not legal in Wyoming. An attempt to legalize failed on a House vote in 2020. Any sports betting offered is through illegal offshore websites.
Where can I bet on sports in Wyoming?
There are currently no legal options to bet anywhere in the state of Wyoming.
Can I bet on sports on my phone in Wyoming?
There are no legal options to place bets on a phone from Wyoming. That was proposed in a 2020 bill, though it died on a House vote.
There are sports betting operators that will say they can accept bets on their websites or apps from people anywhere in the United States, including Wyoming.
That’s just not true. It’s illegal for these sportsbooks, called offshore operators because they are not licensed in the US, to accept bets from anywhere in the United States.
Anyone betting with these websites or apps will also have no consumer protection to help them should an issue arise. This means that if the sportsbook operator chooses not to pay out a bet or closes the sportsbook without returning customer funds, there’s no legal recourse for any bettor involved to get their money.