CPD Chief to host informal open-forum on “skill games”

A player uses a skill-based game at Next Gaming in Las Vegas. The ‘skill games,’ which have become a popular form of entertainment in bars and arcades, are facing backlash from activists and local government agencies who claim they’re a stelth form of gambling. (YouTube)

Casper’s Police Chief has announced that he will be holding an open-forum to discuss the legality of electronic “skill games” that have recently gained popularity in the city of Casper and state of Wyoming.

Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael issued an opinion, last week, regarding the games. The opinion stated that the games were illegal and playing them constituted gambling.

“At the request of law enforcement officials, I was asked to evaluate whether the electronic games manufactured by Banilla Games are illegal under Wyoming law,” said Attorney General Peter K. Michael in a written statement sent to media. “With the cooperation of the device distributors, I have examined how they operate. These machines are illegal gambling devices under Wyoming law. Those who play them are engaged in gambling, which is a crime in Wyoming, and those who provide the games are engaged in professional gambling, which is also a crime in Wyoming.”

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Chief Keith McPheeters will be holding the informal, open-forum, public meeting on Wednesday, December 19th from 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 pm at City Council Chambers of Casper City Hall.

A statement from the CPD says that McPheeters will provide “information and answers to the community’s questions regarding these electronic gambling devices.”

Wyoming State Statutes says that gambling is a misdemeanor and may be subject to criminal penalties punishable by not more than 6 months imprisonment, a fine of not more than $750, or both.

Professional gambling constitutes a felony punishable by imprisonment of not more than 3 years, a fine of not more than $3,000, or both.

The Attorney General’s opinion does not address the lawfulness of the “historic horse racing” terminals at certain pari-mutuel off-track betting locations in Wyoming. These terminals are permitted under separate Wyoming statutes.