Wyoming is the second state to legalize sports betting in 2021. Governor Mark Gordon officially signed HB 133 into law on Monday, paving the way for sportsbooks to begin accepting legal wagers.
It was a difficult journey for HB 133 to land on Governor Gordon’s desk. The bill appeared to be officially dead in early March. In the first vote in the House of Representatives, HB 133 failed to advance. However, a reconsideration vote was held the next day.
The House of Representatives approved sports betting with the second vote. Afterwards, the Senate approved the measure at the end of March. Governor Gordon had previously expressed support for sports betting, so his signing of the bill was done as expected.
All of the sports betting in Wyoming will be done online. There are no commercial casinos in the state. As many as five online sportsbook licenses are expected to be granted. Some of the biggest names in the industry will be searching for a license.
As outlined in House Bill 133, only those operators that are currently live in at least three states will be eligible to apply for a sports betting license. Wyoming did not want to issue licenses to smaller companies. The state also wants to create a competitive market.
The licensing fees in Wyoming are relatively low compared to other states. The initial five-year license is $100,000, and there is a $50,000 renewal fee after that point. This should attract some big names.
Wyoming has placed a 10% tax on all gaming revenue. A portion of that money will go to fighting gambling addiction. Wyoming is the least populated state, so it will remain a small market.
The Wyoming Gaming Commission expects to see close to $450 million in total bets each year.
When is the Launch Date?
Wyoming could be the second state to legalize and launch sports betting in 2021. Some states take a long time to get the industry up and running. But that is not expected to be the case in Wyoming.
Initially, lawmakers targeted July 1 as the launch date of sports betting. However, there just wasn’t enough time to meet that deadline. The Wyoming Gaming Commission has been put in charge of sports betting. That group will work on getting the industry established.
WGC Director Charles Moore has agreed to a September 1 launch date. He believes that things should be up and running by that time. This would allow sportsbooks to be live before the start of the 2021 NFL season, the biggest sports betting market in the United States.
The Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming will also be launching sports betting, despite not having gaming compacts with the state. It’s unclear as to what company this tribe will look to partner with in order to get sports betting off the ground.