In an effort to broaden its gaming industry, Wyoming legislators are considering the introduction of online casino gaming (iGaming) to the state’s market.
The legislative proposal, known as House Bill 120, is championed by Representatives Jon Conrad, Robert Davis, among others, aiming to usher in the era of online casinos within the Equality State.
The initiative follows the legalization of sports betting in Wyoming, a significant development made possible by Governor Mark Gordon’s enactment of House Bill 133 in 2021, which marked a pivotal step in the state’s gaming sector.
Details of House Bill 120
Proposed recently, HB 120 outlines a framework for the regulation of iGaming by the Wyoming Gaming Commission, allowing for the issuance of up to five interactive gaming operator permits. Interested operators are expected to remit an initial fee of $100,000 for obtaining a permit, with a renewal fee of $50,000 every five years. Additionally, vendor permits would entail an initial fee of $10,000 and a renewal charge of $5,000 every five years.
Permit holders in Wyoming will have the opportunity to form reciprocal agreements with other regions, a strategic move considering Wyoming’s relatively small population of 584,000 — the lowest in the United States. The legislation proposes a 10% tax rate on the revenue generated from statewide wagering activities.
Furthermore, HB 120 designates $300,000 annually from the tax revenue for programs addressing problem gambling.
National Movement Towards Legal & Regulated Online Casinos
Wyoming’s efforts are part of a broader national trend, with other states also advancing towards legalizing iGaming. For instance, Illinois is reviewing House Bill 2239, a proposal that would enable operators to initiate services upon acquiring a license for an initial fee of $250,000. Licensed operators could manage up to three brands or “skins,” with an annual license renewal cost of $100,000.
Maryland is considering the legalization of iGaming through Senate Bill 603, introduced by Senator Ron Watson, aiming for a public vote on the issue. Meanwhile, Hawaii’s Senate Bill 3376, presented by Senator Ronald D. Kouchi, seeks to establish a Gaming Control Commission and legalize both sports betting and online poker.
In New York, although advocacy groups are pushing for iGaming legalization, the prospect remains uncertain as Governor Kathy Hochul did not incorporate it into the state’s budget plan.