House Bill 120

Wyoming legislators shut down online casino legalization efforts for the 2024 session

Reading time 1:27 min

Wyoming legislators have rejected considering the legalization of online casinos during the latest legislative session. In a House vote, representatives turned down the opportunity to take up iGaming legislation in 2024 by a vote of 25-36-1.

This means that House Bill 120, filed by Rep. Robert Davis earlier this month, will not be introduced or discussed at any point during the session. The bill required at least 42 representatives to vote in favor.

Ahead of the vote, Davis said: “This bill does several important things. It begins to eradicate the illegal iGaming market right here in Wyoming. That activity is taking place without any protections for our citizens who are playing these games. If we can install the guardrails to do this, it will roll out just like our sports wagering has.”

However, Rep. John Winter informed the House that the Wyoming Gaming Commission had stated that it was not yet ready to regulate online casinos.

He said: “It’s my understanding that the gaming commission wants to shut this down. They think it’s going too fast and they’re concerned about the youngsters that have telephones that can do this gaming.”

House Bill 120 was introduced earlier this month as Wyoming lawmakers looked to authorize online casino betting in the state. The lawmakers proposed to have iGaming in Wyoming regulated by the state’s Gaming Commission, which would offer up to five interactive gaming operator permits under the plan. 

Operators would be required to pay an initial $100,000 fee for a permit, which would be renewable every five years. Five-year renewals cost $50,000, while vendor permits cost an initial $10,000 with a $5,000 five-year renewal fee. The bill would have taxed online casino operators at a flat 10% of revenues.

Davis pitched online gaming in Wyoming as a way to keep tax dollars going to offshore casinos. He stressed the enhanced responsible gambling practices and regulations at legal sportsbooks, compared to offshore sites.

Davis previously chaired the state's Gaming Commission for several years and said that regulators had been considering online casinos since at least when he left the position in 2020. “As far as the gaming commission stance, three years ago, when I served on the commission, this was on their radar,” he noted.

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