Wyoming's online sports betting bill cleared both the House and the Senate, and now it will be forwarded to the Governor before becoming law.
The bill passed its third reading in the Senate in a 24-5 vote, with one member excused. House Bill 133 would see the Wyoming Gaming Commission regulate online sports gambling, including imposing a 10% tax. The commission will have until September to draft rules.
Republican Sen. Drew Perkins said people are going out of state to place sports bets, both legally and illegally, and the legislation would allow Wyoming to regulate the industry, Casper Star-Tribune reports.
The Legislative Service Office said in a fiscal note that it was difficult to estimate how much revenue legalized sports betting would create, but the Gaming Commission estimates the state's sports wagering market has a $449 million value.
Sen. Affie Ellis, R-Cheyenne, proposed a successful amendment on Monday to update permit application requirements, but otherwise the bill sailed through the Senate on its final read.
“(The bill) tries to stop the black market that is taking place now, put consumer protection into the bill, and then allow people in Wyoming ... to place bets,” Sen. Jeff Wasserburger, R-Gillette, said in support of the bill on Thursday. “Then it has a 10% tax on that bet.”
Opponents argue sports wagering will lead to gambling addiction. The bill sets aside the first $300,000 in sports wagering revenue each year to provide funding for gambling addiction treatment.