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Wyoming bills would create new tavern liquor license, relax bar and grill restrictions

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CASPER, Wyo. — With the 2023 Legislative Session approaching, the Wyoming Legislature will be asked to consider some changes to liquor license laws in the state. The session will start Jan. 10, 2023.

Several bills relating to Wyoming liquor law that are sponsored by the Wyoming Legislature’s Joint Corporations, Elections & Political Subdivisions Interim Committee have already been assigned bill numbers by the Legislative Service Office.

Senate File 12 proposes the creation of a new tavern and entertainment liquor license that doesn’t currently exist in Wyoming. Such licenses would be available to establishments where at least 60% of sales come from a combination of entertainment and food compared with alcohol sales. As the bill is drafted, an unlimited number of tavern and entertainment liquor licenses could be issued in the state. The fee for a license would be between $1,500 and $10,500 per year.

A separate piece of legislation — Senate File 13 — would modify rules for bar and grill liquor licenses. Those licenses would continue to be available to establishments where at least 60% of sales come from food. The bill proposes changing the population formula that restricts the number of bar and grill licenses that can be issued in towns, cities and counties.

The population formula would be changed to allow more bar and grill licenses starting July 1, 2023, and again on July 1, 2028. On June 30, 2033, the population-based limit on the number of bar and grill licenses would be eliminated entirely if the bill were to pass as drafted. Specifics pertaining to the population formula and other tweaks to bar and grill uses can be reviewed in the full bill:

A bill number has also been assigned to Senate File 03, a bill that proposes an adjustment to Wyoming Statute 12-4-201 as it pertains to retail liquor license fees. The fee range for retail licenses would remain between $300 and $1,500 per year, with the bill proposing to explicitly give individual “licensing authorities” — that is, municipal and county governments — the power to set the fee. The bill draft can be reviewed below:

A full list of bills that have been assigned numbers for introduction during the 2023 General Session are available from the Wyoming Legislature’s website.


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