If a Wyoming lottery bill becomes law as it’s currently written, the options for players in the state could open up like the expanse of Grand Teton National Park. Among the possibilities in the bill is a new way to pay for your tickets.
WY residents could trade their cryptocurrencies for lottery tickets. Additionally, the scope of the available tickets could expand beyond draw-style games. All in all, the bill would give players of the Wyoming Lottery one of the broadest menus in the country.
Wyoming lottery bill set to expand games in state
HB0008 and SF0056 are companion measures in the separate chambers of the WY legislature. The Joint Committee on Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources is the sponsor. That committee’s next meeting will take place on Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
The two bills would remove the language in the state code that limits payments for lottery tickets as cash only. It then places the new text in the same section that would allow any virtual currency as approved by the WY Lottery board to be used as payment. Buying lottery tickets using debit or credit cards would still be illegal.
It also adds language that would allow lottery retailers in the state to sell scratch-off tickets produced by WY Lottery and the Multi-State Lottery Association. In that way, the lottery options in the state would catch up with those in most of the rest of the country.
The bill also adds a provision that would direct net proceeds from scratch-off games would go to fund the state’s outdoor recreation office. In 2016, the WY Lottery did a study to determine the demand for scratch-off tickets in the state. It concluded that offering such games would multiply the lottery’s annual proceeds four times over.
Despite that, the WY legislature did not act at that time. That’s changed now with the introduction of this bill from a committee with members of both houses. Could that signal a better chance for it to actually become law?
Previous opposition to Wyoming lottery expansion
In 2016, part of the reason for the inaction was an adherence to the parameters of the original enabling legislation. That bill passed on the premise that instant-win games like scratch-off tickets would not be part of the offerings.
The introduction of this bill suggests that it might have changed. However, it remains to see whether allowing sales via cryptocurrency will prove a poison pill. For some legislators, that might be a bridge too far.
The bill also currently does nothing to provide guidance to the lottery on guidelines for those sales. It leaves that matter completely up to the lottery itself. Removing the provision regarding crypto might be a way to get scratch-off approval, though.
If there are no changes, Wyomingites could exchange Bitcoin for lottery scratchers. In that way, it could be on the leading edge of lottery sales in the United States.