Wyoming Legalizes Online Sports Betting
Wyoming is officially the second US state to legalize sports betting in 2021. On Monday, Governor Mark Gordon signed HB 133 to make Wyoming the second state to regulate sports betting in 2021. Unlike other states to regulate sports betting in the past, Wyoming’s market will be online only. The structure of the deal will lock out new sportsbooks, but established companies are expected to operate.
HB 133 Becomes Law
You may remember our report from last month on how Wyoming HB 133 failed an initial House vote. It was then reconsidered and the measure passed. Afterward, the bill moved on to the Senate. The bill had a smoother ride through the Senate. After easily passing through committee, it went to a full Senate vote. The Wyoming Senate voted 24-5 in favor of the bill.
The bill then went to the Governor’s desk, who then signed it on Monday. This makes Wyoming the second state to legalize sports betting in 2021. South Dakota officially legalized sports betting earlier this year. Citizens voted in favor of sports betting in November’s general election.
Wyoming’s sports betting market will be online only. Up until this point, Tennessee was the only state to offer online-only sports betting.
Rep. Tom Waters is the bill’s sponsor and has been working for two years to get sports betting passed. He told Wyoming News Now, “It’s something I’ve actually worked on not just this session, but I worked on it last session. So to see it pass ultimately is very exciting. I think it’s good for the people of Wyoming because it allows for this regulated market.”
What to Expect From Wyoming Sports Betting
Wyoming is the smallest US state in terms of population with around 578,000 residents. As such, the take for sports betting is only expected to be around $449 million each year. Any company wishing to be an operator will need to pay a licensing fee of $100,000 for a five-year license. Renewals will cost $50,000.
The tax rate on gaming revenues is set at 10%. Each year, the first $300,000 in taxes will be reserved for the treatment of problem gambling.
In terms of which sportsbook will operate in Wyoming, the list will be somewhat limited. Regulations require that sportsbooks in Wyoming also operate in three other states. This will immediately eliminate newer sportsbooks or upstart companies. Instead, the potential companies will all be household names in the US sports betting and real money online casino business.
Here is a list of the sportsbooks you may see apply for a license in Wyoming
- William Hill
- Barstool Sportsbook
It is almost a given that FanDuel and DraftKings will apply. They have been actively expanding into various states whenever possible. For example, soon after Virginia residents voted to allow online casinos, FanDuel and DraftKings set up shop.
Otherwise, expect William Hill, BetMGM, and Barstool to apply. With such a small market available, it is uncertain whether theScore or PointsBet will bother opening
Would This Bill Had Passed Without the Pandemic
A big question some have asked about this bill is whether it would have even passed the House if not for the pandemic. It is no secret that Wyoming’s economy is suffering due to struggles in the mineral industry. Then tack on the challenges of the pandemic and the state has been struggling to come up with revenue.
Back in February, Sen. Jeff Wasserburger told the Wyoming Tribune Eagle that sports betting’s “not going to solve all the issues that we’re seeing in the mineral industry, that’s for sure. But it’s going to help a little bit.”
The state will get around $40 million a year in taxes assuming that the industry reaches its peak. That money can do a lot of good and replace revenue lost due to the struggling economy.