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Gordon signs bill legalizing online sports wagering; estimated $449M market to open Sept. 1

UW

(Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

CASPER, Wyo. — Online sports wagering and fantasy sports contests will be allowed in Wyoming starting Sept. 1, 2021 after Governor Mark Gordon signed House Bill 133 into law on Monday.

The new law will open what a market that the Wyoming Gaming Commission estimates could be around $449 million. The law will allow wagering only on sporting events in which the majority of athletes are at least 18 years old.

Online sports wagering operators will be required to remit 10% of their revenues from online sports wagering to the state.The first $300,000 in revenue generated each fiscal year will help fund county health programs to prevent and treat “problematic gambling behaviors.” Revenue beyond $300,000 will go to the state’s General Fund.

The bill nearly died in the House on third reading. Their initial 28-32 vote on Tuesday, March 9 was reversed on March 10 after Rep. Mike Yin (Teton County) motioned for the House to reconsider the legislation. Since Yin voted on the prevailing side (voted no) on Tuesday, he was able to make this motion for reconsideration.

The House of Representatives passed House Bill 133 on a third reading vote of 32-28 on March 10:

  • Ayes: ANDREW, BAKER, BANKS, BROWN, BURKHART, BURT, CONNOLLY, CRAGO, DUNCAN, GREEAR, HARSHMAN, HENDERSON, HUNT, KINNER, BARLOW, MACGUIRE, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, O’HEARN, OLSEN, PAXTON, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SOMMERS, STITH, SWEENEY, WALTERS, YIN, ZWONITZER
  • Nays: BEAR, BLACKBURN, CLAUSEN, CLIFFORD, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAY, HALLINAN, HAROLDSON, HEINER, JENNINGS, KNAPP, LARSEN, L, LAURSEN, D, MARTINEZ, NEIMAN, OBERMUELLER, OTTMAN, SIMPSON, STYVAR, WASHUT, WESTERN, WHARFF, WILLIAMS, WILSON, WINTER

The Senate’s 24-5 vote on House Bill 133 on March 29 was as follows:

  • Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, COOPER, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, GIERAU, HICKS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, PERKINS, ROTHFUSS, SALAZAR, SCHULER, WASSERBURGER
  • Nays: CASE, DOCKSTADER, HUTCHINGS, SCOTT, STEINMETZ
  • Excused: DRISKILL

Since the Senate adopted amendments to House Bill 133, the legislation will returned to the House for a concurrence vote on whether to agree with the changes. The House’s concurrence vote of 36-20 on March 30 was as follows:

  • Ayes: ANDREW, BANKS, BROWN, BURKHART, BURT, CLIFFORD, CONNOLLY, CRAGO, DUNCAN, GREEAR, HEINER, HENDERSON, HUNT, KINNER, BARLOW, LARSEN, L, MACGUIRE, MARTINEZ, NEWSOME, NICHOLAS, OAKLEY, OBERMUELLER, O’HEARN, OLSEN, PAXTON, PROVENZA, ROSCOE, SCHWARTZ, SHERWOOD, SOMMERS, STITH, SWEENEY, WALTERS, WESTERN, YIN, ZWONITZER
  • Nays: BAKER, BEAR, CLAUSEN, EKLUND, EYRE, FLITNER, FORTNER, GRAY, HALLINAN, JENNINGS, KNAPP, LAURSEN, D, NEIMAN, OTTMAN, SIMPSON, STYVAR, WHARFF, WILLIAMS, WILSON, WINTER
  • Excused: BLACKBURN, HAROLDSON, HARSHMAN, WASHUT

Senate amendments to the bill included the following changes:

  • moved the effective date of the legislation back from July 1, 2021 to Sept. 1, 2021
  • removed a provision to allow the Wyoming Gaming Commission to issue temporary permits to sports wagering operators currently operating in good standing in other states
  • added a requirement that the Wyoming Gaming Commission create a compliance program to review whether online sports wagering operators are operating within the bounds of the proposed law
  • added a requirement that any permit holders allowed to operate online sports wagering activities disclose when they change their names
  • added a requirement that online sports wagering permit holders disclose any arrests, guilt pleas, disciplinary actions, civil actions against them or license denials in Wyoming or other states
  • created a procedure for an operator seeking a permit who is denied to appeal, ask for reconsideration from the Wyoming Gaming Commission
  • reworked a section of the bill dealing with what grounds are cause for denial of a permit to include theft crimes, bribery crimes, felonies and other crimes or failing to cooperate in a gambling or corruption case; also adds that tampering with permit application documentation is grounds for denial

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