Online sports betting is coming to Wyoming. Thanks to Gov. Mark Gordon’s signature on HB133 in April 2021, the Cowboy State is set to become only the second state to offer sports betting as an online-only option.
Of course, the online-only aspect is a feature of the state law itself. As the state moves to the online model for sports betting, tribes in the state have pledged to launch their own retail sportsbooks. There’s no timeline for those openings just yet. Nevertheless, Wyoming’s large land area and the remote position of the tribal casinos in the state mean that most sports bets will occur online or via an app, as happens in New Jersey and other states every month.
Thanks to the particulars of the law, we also expect that some of the biggest names in sports betting will be coming to Wyoming. We have all the details below and will update them if anything changes, so read on for all the latest on sports betting in the Cowboy State.
Live Updates on Wyoming sports betting
Updated: July 19, 2021
The Wyoming Gaming Commission has posted applications for the online operators and vendors they hope will open the state’s legal sports betting market this fall.
Wyoming law requires at least five operators to constitute the market. Interestingly, one question posed to applicants is whether they are active in at least three American jurisdictions.
Draft rules and regulations slide onto governor’s desk
The Wyoming Gaming Commission submitted the draft rules and regulations to Gov. Mark Gordon a little over a month after HB133 was signed into law in April 2021. Those rules must now undergo a 45-day public comment period. While the WGC is committed to the timeframe for a Sept. 1 launch set by Gordon, the license approval process remains an unknown factor.
Is online sports betting legal in Wyoming?
Yes. Online sports betting is legal in Wyoming. However, the actual launch of sportsbook apps has not occurred just yet. The Wyoming Gaming Commission released rules for managing the industry to Gov. Mark Gordon on June 9. The rules next enter a 45-day public comment period.
When will Wyoming sports betting launch?
September 2021. Lawmakers and regulators have established the first day of the month as the target for the debut of sports betting in Wyoming. If this time frame holds true, Wyomingites should be able to bet on every single game of the 2021 NFL season. With that said, statements from the Wyoming Gaming Commission have indicated that the timing is expedited, so it is possible that a later launch date may occur. However, until we hear otherwise, we’re going to proceed as if the September horizon is accurate.
Which online sportsbooks will launch in Wyoming?
Based upon the language in HB133 and various events that have occurred since its passage, we can take several educated guesses about which sportsbooks you can expect to see in Wyoming. Here are the relevant sections of the law:
With regard to the number of licenses: “Given a sufficient number of applicants, at any one (1) time the commission shall issue not less than five (5) sports wagering operator permits to applicants that satisfy the requirements under this chapter.”
With regard to the prerequisites to apply: “The commission shall issue a permit to a sports wagering vendor that is currently operating in good standing in a similar role in at least three (3) jurisdictions in the United States under a state regulatory structure. …”
Several sportsbooks have already weighed into the conversations and discourse that the commission has conducted in formulating its rules for the new industry. Some of these sportsbooks clearly qualify under the “three other jurisdictions” rule, so we can safely assume that they are interested in Wyoming online sports betting. Other companies have sportsbook apps, but are not quite to that threshold, so it’s not immediately clear how they will establish their bona fides for the commission. Finally, there are other large sportsbooks that also meet the three-jurisdiction threshold and are usually among the earliest to launch in new territories. So, here are our best guesses for the sportsbooks you’ll see in Wyoming.
These three are the closest to definite. They each have operations in several states and have issued comments to the WGC about tweaks they’d like to see to the rules:
These companies are the other large players in the field. They have finely tuned apps that are easy to adapt for new states.
- Barstool Sports
- William Hill/Caesars
An additional two operators have participated in stakeholder meetings in Wyoming, so we know that they are interested: Golden Entertainment and SuperBook. However, SuperBook is only active in Nevada and Colorado, and Golden recently sold off its Colorado properties and reduced its footprint to Nevada and Maryland (the latter of which has not launched sports betting yet). This makes it less certain how these two are going to make it through the licensing process, but they have certainly indicated interest.
Do I have to be in Wyoming to bet online?
Yes, you will have to be physically in Wyoming in order to place an online sports bet. Both state and federal law make this requirement a universal feature in every state with legal sports betting, and Wyoming is no different.
To enforce this rule, the state will require geolocation verification software. Every sportsbook that receives a license in Wyoming must demonstrate that it has incorporated a program into its infrastructure that will accurately monitor the location of each player. Whenever you log in to the app, you will need to allow it to verify your location. If you use a mobile device, then the software will work with your phone’s onboard GPS. If you prefer a laptop or desktop computer, you will need to download the software from the sportsbook’s site.
This software is actually quite effective. It can pinpoint locations within a few feet and acts as a virtual geofence around the desired area. Sportsbook apps typically err on the side of caution and set the limits of the “fence” a few feet inside the state. In other words, there is no chance that you will fool the system from outside the state, and there’s a decent chance that you will be denied service if you’re just inside the border.
Can you play daily fantasy sports in Wyoming?
Yes. DraftKings, FanDuel and other DFS providers are more than happy to allow play from inhabitants in Wyoming. Up to this point, the law has remained silent on the matter, and daily fantasy sports contests have lived in a sort of legal limbo. However, the second portion of HB133, the law that is authorizing sports betting, contains a provision to classify DFS as not a gambling activity. Therefore, DFS is set to be a completely legitimate activity in the state.
Who will regulate Wyoming sports betting?
The Wyoming Gaming Commission. Aside from the tribal casinos in the state and the Wyoming Lottery, the WGC has jurisdiction over all types of gambling that occur in Wyoming. Until recently, most of those activities involved horse racing, which has a long and deep history in the state. Pari-mutuel betting, off-track betting, historic horse race machines and online horse betting are all valid types of wagering in the state. Hence, until 2020, the WGC was known as the Wyoming Pari-mutuel Commission.
In addition to the horse-related events, the WGC also oversees charitable gambling (bingo, raffles, etc.) in the state. The Wyoming Gaming Commission website already has a tab set aside for sports wagering, the law indicates that it will have the oversight authority over the new industry, and it’s only a matter of time before that section of the site is populated with more information. In short, it’s the Wyoming Gaming Commission, full stop.
How old do I have to be to bet on sports in Wyoming?
Eighteen. Wyoming is one of the few states with a minimum gambling age at 18, rather than 21. However, this quirk is consistent with the other forms of gambling in the state. It’s not surprising that horse tracks, OTBs, and online horse betting sites require a player only to be 18 — that’s fairly common. The situation for bingo halls and other charitable gaming locations is similar in other states, too. However, the tribal casinos in the state are also set at 18. So, even though sports betting is reserved for those 21 and older most of the time, Wyoming lawmakers chose to keep the gambling age consistent for all activities.
Where to bet on sports in Wyoming
For the most part, you will be restricted to betting on sports through your mobile device or computer. From the state government’s point of view, the only legitimate sports betting in Wyoming will occur online. However, the owners of some of the tribal casinos that occupy the massive Wind River Reservation in the western portion of the state have indicated that they would like to open a retail sportsbook at some point soon. We don’t have any information about the timeframe regarding these debuts, nor are we certain which of the four properties would host sports betting facilities. For now, these are the possible locations of physical sportsbooks in Wyoming:
- 789 Smokeshop & Casino: 10369 Highway 789, Riverton, WY 82501; 307-857-9451
- Little Wind Casino: 800 Blue Sky Highway, Ethete, WY 82520; 307-438-7000
- Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel: 5690 US Highway 287, Lander, WY 82520; 307-206-7000
- Wind River Hotel & Casino: 180 Red Wolf Place, Riverton, WY 82501; 307-855-2600;
The most likely of the four to offer sports betting is the Wind River Hotel & Casino in Riverton. It is the only true casino in the state, at least in terms of its offerings, and it is owned by the Northern Arapaho Tribe, which made the comments about launching sports betting back in October 2020. There haven’t been any similar comments from the other tribe, the Eastern Shoshone, just yet, but it’s unlikely that the Northern Arapaho would gain the ability to offer sports betting and the Shoshone would not.
Of course, these four Wyoming casinos are not terribly convenient to many residents of the state. All four are two hours’ drive from either of Wyoming’s interstates (I-25 and I-80) and three of them offer very little beyond a few hundred slot machines. So, if you are motivated to bet on sports in person in Wyoming, you might have an option or two, but you’re going to have to be willing to travel.
How Wyoming online sports betting sites work
Although sports betting hasn’t launched in Wyoming yet, sportsbook apps are fairly uniform in format and function elsewhere, and we feel confident that they will be in Wyoming, too. Nearby Colorado sports betting sites follow similar rules and functions as in other regulated states.
In general, you have to go through the following steps to begin betting (if you are 18 or older):
- Sign up for an account
- Deposit money into your account
- Place a bet
- Collect your winnings (hopefully)
Let’s walk through each of these options in more detail.
How to sign up for a Wyoming sportsbook account
If you’ve ever created an online account elsewhere, then the process of signing up and registering on a Wyoming sportsbook will be quite familiar. It is a simple process of furnishing various bits of personal information and establishing your presence or avatar with the site. Here’s what to do:
- Choose one of the links above to access the app download page of your choice. Note any bonus codes that appear. Download the app for Apple (iOS) or Android.
- After the download and installation processes are complete, open the app and look for a large button in the upper right corner of the display. It will say something like “Register” or “Sign up” on it and will be impossible to miss.
- A push of the button will take you to the registration screen(s) for the app. Here is where you will fill out the blanks and create your account. You will be asked to give your name, email address, home address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number and a choice of username and password. Lastly, if you wrote down a bonus code, make sure to enter it into the appropriate box.
- After you enter all your information and hit “submit,” your account should be ready to go. It’s possible that you’ll have to confirm your account through your email, but usually you’ll be ready to play immediately.
How do I deposit and withdraw money at an online sportsbook?
Sportsbooks offer as many different ways to fund accounts as they can. Common types of deposit methods that you will see include the following:
- Credit/debit cards
- E-wallets, such as PayPal and Skrill
- Prepaid cards
- Online banking
- Wire transfer
Every site is a bit different in terms of its options, of course. Make sure to pick a site that has at least one option, if not more, that works for you.
Withdrawals generally operate in much the same way. You’ll go to the cashier and submit a request for the amount you designate for withdrawal. There will probably be fewer ways to withdraw, and the process is likely to take longer.
How do I place a bet?
Once your account is funded, it’s time to bet. A typical online sportsbook lobby will feature the following sections:
- Left column: This area is usually quite narrow and features a list of the most popular sports on which to bet. At the bottom of the list, there is usually an option for “all sports A-Z” or something similar so that you can access activities that are not mentioned. If you wish to bet on a particular sport or game, click the link for the sport. You’ll see a list of the options for that sport appear in the center portion of the display.
- Center column: The center of the display is usually the widest of the three sections. Here, the homepage for the app will display games that are already underway (and available for live betting) or upcoming events that it wants to feature. If you want to bet on the big event of the day (the Super Bowl, the World Series, a big UFC fight, etc.), then you’ll almost certainly find it as the first or second listing.
- Right column: The right side of the app is almost always reserved for the bet slip. As you make your selections, the slip will auto-populate with all the relevant details of your choices. After you’ve made all the selections you want, you will then need to indicate your bet amounts.
It’s also important to remember that online sports betting these days is not a passive activity once the game begins. You will undoubtedly see options for live bets as the game progresses, and if you meet the conditions for the cash out option, you might gain the option to settle your wager before the game ends.
What sports can I bet on in Wyoming?
In terms of your available options for sports, there really isn’t much that you cannot wager on in Wyoming. HB133, the law that enables sports betting in the state, contains only the single prohibition against wagering on high school sports or sports where the majority of athletes are under 18. This prohibition is neither a surprise nor unusual — it is a universal feature of every single sports betting state’s law. Other than that, most sports should be available, including the following:
- Auto racing
- Mixed martial arts (MMA)
Keep in mind that this list is not comprehensive nor is it set in stone. The newly released Wyoming rules (once approved) will lay out any specific sports or events that you cannot bet on. However, the statute clearly defers to the judgment of the commission for what determines a wager’s acceptability. Some regulatory agencies in other states have disallowed prop bets on college sports, or banned bets on all in-state college teams altogether. In other words, we’re going to have to see which way the wind blows on betting markets in Wyoming.
Once you decide on a sport, you can make any number of wagers. The days of the point spread and moneyline being the only available bets are long gone. Here are the bets you’ll be able to place:
- Point spreads
- Totals (over/under)
- Round robins
Live betting on Wyoming sports
One last type of betting might be a new one if you haven’t kept up with sports betting in the last few years. Live betting is an increasingly popular way to wager, and with good reason. Live betting, or in-game wagering, is any bet that takes place after a game is already underway.
You tend to see live bets in one of three flavors. They usually involve the continuation of pregame wagers, the achievement of milestones or the outcome of partial game results. Because of their speed and nature, live betting is only rarely available in retail sportsbooks. However, with current technology, sportsbooks can post bets that are exceptionally granular — down to the outcome of a single play during the game. As a result, a single game can now involve more than a hundred separate wagers.
What’s next for Wyoming sports betting?
Sports betting will launch soon in Wyoming. There’s no question about that. Our best guess is that you’ll start seeing sportsbooks opening their virtual doors around September 2021. Between the relatively appealing fee and tax structure that the law provides, there should be quite a bit of interest in Wyoming as a sports betting state, even with its low population.