Wyoming’s Senate has approved an amended house bill that will see the state establish a regulated online sports betting industry.
HB 133 has been heavily amended since it was first rejected on March 9th. The changes to the original bill saw it pass overwhelmingly by 24-5 with one senator abstaining.
It’s now up to the House to pass an identical version of the bill before it can be signed into law by Governor Mark Gordon.
Once signed into law, the bill will allow five online sportsbook operators to launch in the state. Permits will cost $100,000 for a term of five years with a renewal fee of $50,000. Interestingly, a sportsbook operator must already be active in three other states before the Wyoming Gaming Commission will consider its application.
With only 580,000 residents in the least populate state in the United States, industry experts expect the state to issue all five licenses by the tentative start date of September 1st.
The legislation will also see Wyoming join Tennessee to become only the second state to have an online-only sports betting market.
Speaking in favour of the bill, DraftKings director of legal and governmental affairs, Chris Cipolla told the senate that mobile betting was hugely successful in other states. He highlighted how New Jersey’s online wagers made up 85% of total sports betting wagers pre-pandemic.
Projections estimate that an online sports betting industry could be worth between $2.23 million and $4.7 million is revenue to the state.
Speaking to the senate, Sen. Drew Perkins said:
“This is already happening both legally and illegally. A big part of this bill is not necessarily to create a hammer to go after those who are doing it illegally, but more to create a more protected and regulated environment, so when (bettors) place the bet and they win, their bets are paid.”
Image credit: Jimmy Emerson, DMV / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0