It was expected that 2024 was going to be a big year for the iGaming industry as more states would be looking to get into the action. There were some obvious choices as to the states that would look to legalize, but there have already been a few surprises this year.
Wyoming is the most recent state where an online casino bill has popped up, and that’s not one of the states that many had envisioned. A bill was recently submitted earlier this week, and there is some optimism that something might get done.
House Bill 120 was filed by Republican Robert Davis, and he worked with the Wyoming Gaming Commission in order to draft the bill. There isn’t going to be much time for lawmakers to discuss the issue, but it could end up being something that is pushed through quickly.
Wyoming is now the sixth state with some sort of iGaming bill currently on the table, and it would be extremely stunning if online casinos were able to launch. There is a gaming industry in the state already as four Native American tribes have casinos and there are sportsbook apps in the state.
Some Important Details
Even though HB 120 is still in the very early stages, some of the important details have already been made known to the public. The Wyoming Gaming Commission would be in charge of online casino gambling, and that group has coordinated the sports betting efforts.
Davis is trying to create a competitive market in the state as his bill calls for a minimum of five online casino licenses to be handed out. There is no maximum number established in his bill, but those numbers could always change moving forward.
There would be an initial fee of $100,000 for companies to hold a license, and the revenue from online casinos would be taxed at a rate of 10%. Live dealer games would be included in the bill, but in-state studios would not be required.
Most of this bill looks similar to what is found in other states, but it’s still surprising to see Wyoming taking this next step.
Tribes Will Have Opinion
There are two federally recognized Native American tribes in the state of Wyoming, and they are going to have some sort of opinion on this new bill. The Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation each own and operate a pair of tribal casinos in the state.
Both tribes were given the opportunity to offer sports betting, but only the Northern Arapaho Tribe took the state up on that offer. Online casinos could potentially cut into the revenue that comes from the tribal properties, and that will be something to consider moving forward.
This is not a state where the tribes control the gaming industry as there are racetracks throughout the state. Those tribes could potentially block a bill from moving forward, but they have not yet spoken out on the topic.