Wyoming could become the latest state to legalize sports betting, and lawmakers are setting a very aggressive timeline in terms of a launch date. This is the second time that sports betting has been the subject of conversation in the state, but there appears to be more support this time.
House Bill 133 was approved by a vote of 32-28, and this bill was put back on the table as a reconsideration proposal. That pushed the bill on to the Wyoming Senate, and that group has now made a decision as well.
The Senate Appropriations Committee had little opposition to HB 133, and it will now go to the Senator floor for a final vote. Consumer protection is at the heart of this bill, but it has been shocking how little opposition has been brought against it.
Sports betting was initially denied earlier this year, and it’s unclear what caused the House to take a second look at the bill.
Details of Potential Bill
The Wyoming Gaming Commission would be put in charge of regulating the industry if the law did take effect. Both online and retail betting options are expected to be included, but nothing will become official until it is signed into law.
Lawmakers are hoping for a July 1 start date, but that date has been questioned of late. There was another proposal to push the start date until September 1, and that would give the state more time to get things lined up.
Operators Should Jump on Board
Wyoming should attract some of the top online sports betting operators in the U.S., which will help the state get off to a great start. DraftKings is expected to seek a license in the state, and that company has expressed support for the current bill.
One of the biggest strengths of this proposal, according to DraftKings, is that the suggested tax rate is similar to Colorado, which is considered extremely fair for operators. Online wagering continues to dominate the entire U.S. market, and including that in the final law is important if Wyoming wants to reach the full sports betting potential.
Competition Surrounds Wyoming
One of the main reasons that lawmakers in Wyoming are seeking to push sports betting through so quickly is because this part of the country has become a hotbed for the industry. Colorado became the first of the Wyoming border states to offer sports betting, and that market has become huge.
Colorado had a total sports betting handle of more than $320 million during January and is establishing itself as one of the top sports betting markets in the United States. Wyoming won’t become a market that large, but it could create some competition with Colorado.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem just recently signed a bill that would legalize sports betting in that state. One advantage Wyoming will have is that online sports betting is not available in South Dakota. All online sports betting must be done in-person at the Deadwood casinos.