On Monday, Wyoming governor Mark Gordon (R) signed HB0133 into law, legalizing domestic sports wagering for all residents aged 18 and up.
In most states, sports betting – whether online or in-person – is limited to bettors who are at least 21 years old. This makes WY one of the only states to grant this particular brand of gambling access to young adults.
But in addition to the 18-year-old age limit for sports betting (which is something that until now has been the exclusive domain of 18+ offshore sportsbooks, which remain legal to use under WY law), HB0133 – now officially called Act No. 50 – has many other unique aspects that make Wyoming a true leader in forward thinking gambling legislation.
For starters, this is how the Wyoming betting law characterizes online sports betting (emphasis added):
“‘Online sports wagering’ means engaging in sports wagering conducted by a sports wagering operator through a sports wagering account over the internet by use of a computer, digital platform or mobile application on a mobile device, any of which uses communications technology to accept sports wagers or any system or method of electronic sports wagering approved by commission rules. ‘Online sports wagering’ shall not include or be conducted from any physical location created by a sports wagering operator or vendor for a patron to physically visit to place a wager…”
Per the bill, Wyoming sports betting is limited exclusively to the online space. In other words, WY joins Tennessee as the only states that limit sports wagering entirely to the online space.
It remains to be seen if any of the state’s four tribal casino venues will be able to host sports betting lounges, but at this time, you’ll only be able to participate in 18+ mobile sports betting in the state.
As far as limitations on sports betting, there are remarkably few.
Wyoming betting allows wagers on all collegiate sporting events, including those involving WY-based teams.
Many states have disallowed local NCAA betting due to “integrity” interests, but there’s no data that gambling on college athletics poses any risk of bet fixing, whether from players themselves or third-party bad actors.
The only popular market that isn’t supported in Wyoming’s new legislation is eSports betting, though you can always use an international gambling site to access these betting lines.
When it comes to the types of sports bets allowed in Wyoming, they run the gamut.
Though the state has specifically listed the allowable wager types, the selection is comprehensive and seems to cover every traditional kind of sports bet, including:
- Single Game Bets
- Teaser Bets
- Parlay Bets
- Over/Under Bets (Totals Bets)
- Moneyline Bets
- Pool Bets (Pari-mutuel Bets)
- Exchange Wagers (P2P Bets)
- In-Game Bets (aka In-Play Bets)
- Prop Bets
- Straight Bets
It is important to note that HB0133 does not explicitly mention “spread bets” as an accepted form of wagering, albeit it’s inconceivable that the bill would leave out the most popular kind of sports wager.
More likely, spread betting has been redefined here in non-standard terms, likely falling under the designation of either “single-game bets” or “straight bets.”
Typically, straight bets are synonymous with moneyline bets (i.e. pick a winner, straight up), but since these are listed separately, this is likely what’s going on.
Regarding vendor permits, HB0133 Section 9-24-103 (m) is written thus:
“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 and that has paid all required fees under subsection (e) of this section.”
Effectively, this limits operator options to those companies that have already established themselves in the burgeoning United States online gambling market.
As a result, WY bettors can expect domestic sports betting apps from the likes of FanDuel, DraftKings, and other major online sportsbook operators.
Local startups are not permitted, at least during these early stages. That’s actually wise, as it guarantees that online betting in Wyoming will be smooth sailing right out of the gate.
It also ensures that betting operations will be up and running as quickly as possible, likely in time for the 2021 NFL season (and certainly in time for Super Bowl LVI).
Most interestingly, however, are the payment options approved by the law.
While not all vendors are likely to accept the full assortment of bet funding methods cited in HB0133 (at least initially), the fact that so many different modes of payment are allowed is truly groundbreaking.
These include the following, per Section 9-24-101 (a) (i) (A-J):
(i) “Cash equivalent” means an asset that is convertible to cash and approved for use in connection with online sports wagering. Approved cash equivalents include:
(A) Travelers checks;
(B) Foreign currency and coin;
(C) Certified checks, cashier’s checks and money orders;
(D) Personal checks and drafts;
(E) Digital, crypto and virtual currencies;
(F) Online and mobile payment systems that support online money transfers;
(G) Credit cards and debit cards;
(H) Prepaid access instruments;
(J) Any other form of asset that is convertible to cash approved by commission rules.
Outside of reputable 18+ sports betting sites, we have never seen this many different payment options authorized for sports wagering.
Additionally, Wyoming is the very first state to allow for cryptocurrency betting on sports.
Again, while the major operators aren’t set up for crypto payment processing (as literally no other state offers the option), it seems reasonable that this will start a national trend and lead to domestic Bitcoin betting being widely available.
HB0133 also authorizes DFS, exempting it from traditional “gambling” designations and formally legalizing the practice in the state.
Previously, daily fantasy sports was operating in a sort of legal “gray area” within Wyoming. Now, DFS is formally recognized as a legitimate industry.
Finally, Wyoming legal sports betting is taxed at a flat rate of 10 percent of all revenue (aka “hold”), with proceeds going towards infrastructure, problem gambling initiatives, and education coffers.