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Wyoming Legislators Contemplate Online Casino Expansion

Wyoming legislators are currently exploring the expansion of the state's gaming industry to include online casino gambling through House Bill 120, championed by Representatives Jon Conrad, Robert Davis, Sandy Newsome, and Tom Walters. This initiative, aiming to regulate iGaming activities under the Wyoming Gaming Commission, reflects broader national trends while addressing concerns related to taxation, licensing, and interstate collaboration.
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Christian McDeen | Caesar of Lands of Betting and Live Casino

Updated: Feb 9, 2024

Wyoming Legislators Contemplate Online Casino Expansion

The US has always been one of the most controversial markets when it comes to online gambling legislation. Some states have expressed a more liberal approach towards engaging in online casino activities, while others continue with a more conservative and yet not punter-friendly perception. However, it goes without saying that the iGaming Industry is constantly evolving. Besides bringing numerous opportunities to players, the iGaming Industry can be unequivocally advantageous for a country's economy. For instance, by virtue of licensing and a comprehensive tax structure, extra funds could be allocated for public services and programs that contribute to society's overall well-being and development.

One state is undoubtedly in the spotlight this week, Wyoming. Wyoming legislators are embarking on a deliberative process to explore the potential expansion of the state's gaming landscape, with a focus on the inclusion of online casino gambling. Spearheaded by Representatives Jon Conrad, Robert Davis, Sandy Newsome, and Tom Walters, House Bill 120 stands as the focal point of this endeavor, building upon Wyoming's prior venture into legalized sports betting in 2021.

The recently introduced bill seeks to establish a comprehensive framework for regulating and legalizing iGaming activities within the state, under the purview of the Wyoming Gaming Commission.

Outlined within the proposed legislation are several key components:

  • License Allocation: A provision is made for the issuance of up to five licenses to online gaming operators, with an initial fee set at $100,000 per license. Renewal fees of $50,000 are proposed every five years.
  • Taxation Structure: The bill suggests a flat tax rate of 10% on all iGaming revenues, with a designated allocation of $300,000 annually dedicated to addressing concerns related to problem gambling within the state.
  • Interstate Collaboration: Recognizing the demographic constraints posed by Wyoming's relatively modest population, the bill tentatively permits licensed operators to explore partnerships with counterparts in other jurisdictions. However, specific details regarding operational logistics and shared player pools remain undefined at this stage.

The initiative undertaken by Wyoming aligns with a broader national trend towards the regulation and legalization of iGaming activities. In Illinois, for instance, House Bill 2239 is currently under review, proposing a licensing framework with an initial fee of $250,000 and subsequent annual renewal fees. Likewise, Hawaii is evaluating the establishment of a Gaming Control Commission to oversee sports betting and online poker through Senate Bill 3376.

In Maryland, the trajectory is set forth by Senate Bill 603, led by Senator Ron Watson, which aims to subject the question of iGaming legalization to a public referendum in the forthcoming election cycle, marking a potential departure from the state's historical aversion to gambling expansion.

Wyoming's nuanced approach towards iGaming legalization underscores the evolving landscape of regulatory policymaking, with legislators navigating a complex terrain encompassing economic considerations, public health implications, and the imperative of robust regulatory oversight. As the dialogue unfolds, stakeholders will scrutinize the potential benefits and pitfalls associated with expanding the state's gaming footprint into the digital domain, with a keen eye toward safeguarding the interests of constituents and promoting responsible gaming practices.

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