The bill will now head to the House, where it is expected to quickly receive approval by way of a concurrence roll call vote. Should this come to pass the legislation will then end up on Governor Mark Gordon’s desk for final sign off – something he has already affirmed he will do.
The positivity isn’t confined to the governor’s office however, and Wyoming Gaming Commission director Charles Moore is currently targeting 1 September as a launch date.
As it stands, the legislation would make five internet sportsbook licenses available, although Wyoming’s only current gaming operator – the Eastern Shoshone Tribe – is surprisingly being left out of all expansion plans.
The licenses would be available at a cost of $100,000 up front, with a further $50,000 annual fee, and taxed at 10% of GGR. The Eastern Shoshone Tribe has reportedly not been included in discussions to date, and would not qualify for current license proposals. As per the legislation, all applications must already be operating an active sportsbook in at least three other states.
Despite this, support for the measures remains strong throughout state legislature. Senator Drew Perkins remarked that a legal sportsbook market would both stop crucial tax dollars from leaving Wyoming, and provide players with a safer way of placing bets.
The Wyoming Gaming Commission estimates that a fully mature sports betting market could generate $449m of bets annually, despite the state’s diminutive population.