Complete Guide to Gambling in Wyoming
Wyoming isn't a gambling friendly state. In fact, most types of gambling are restricted.
All casino games-except for social games-were completely outlawed until tribal casinos were legalized. Wyoming originally refused to negotiate a compact with the tribes of the state regarding casino games. Wyoming was overruled by the federal Indian gaming act though, and several casinos have opened since.
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Online Gambling and Wyoming Law
Is online gambling legal in Wyoming?
No, online gambling is illegal in Wyoming.
Like most states, Wyoming doesn't have any laws that specifically mention online gambling. But their current gambling laws cover online gambling by default. The state's laws make no distinction for traditional gambling versus gambling on the Internet.
The Wyoming Statutes defines a gambling device as:
"means any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment except an antique gambling device that is used or usable in the playing phases of any professional gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine"
Based on this definition, any computer, tablet, mobile device or any other device that could be used to gamble online is considered a gambling device. These are illegal in Wyoming unless they're located in an approved location-like an Indian reservation casino.
The only types of gambling device approved by Wyoming law are antique devices that aren't used for gambling. Wyoming Statutes define antique gambling devices as:
" a mechanically or electronically operated slot machine that is at least twenty-five (25) years old and used only for display or personal amusement in the owner's residence, in public and private museums, in possession of a dealer or distributor of lawful gaming equipment or displayed at state or local historic sites;"
Can I get arrested for gambling online in Wyoming?
Since gambling online is illegal in Wyoming, yes, you could get arrested for it. The maximum gambling penalty is 3 years in prison and $3,000 in fines. Non-professional gambling has lesser penalties.
Although it is possible, no one has ever been arrested for online gambling in Wyoming.
We always offer the same advice to our readers. Don't break the law. We also think that it's only fair to provide a clear view of the risks involved.
Running an online casino or online bookmaking operation is almost certain to get you arrested eventually. Placing a bet on a football game with an offshore gambling site is unlikely to result in anything bad-other than maybe losing some money on the bet.
Is Wyoming going to legalize online gaming?
It's unlikely that Wyoming will legalize online gaming anytime in the near future.
No push for regulated online gaming has been made in Wyoming. They're one of the stricter states when it comes to gambling laws.
For example, the Wyoming lottery wasn't legalized until 2013; 46 years after New Hampshire started their lottery.
It could take another 50 plus years to see online gaming come to Wyoming.
Are daily fantasy sports legal in Wyoming?
Daily fantasy sports are a gray area in Wyoming. No laws in Wyoming talk about them.
We couldn't find anyone that has been arrested or told not to play daily fantasy sports in Wyoming.
Wyoming does recognize the role of skill versus chance when defining gambling. Games of skill are legal.
It's possible that daily fantasy sports can be legalized in Wyoming-if it's found to be a game of skill. Right now, there's no court precedent in the state regarding this.
How do I choose a good online gaming site?
A seemingly endless number of online gaming sites are available. Most of the sites we recommend (but not all of them) are happy to take action from Wyoming residents. But not all Wyoming gambling sites are trustworthy.
Choosing a good online gaming site is possible by following the tips below:
Read reviews and complaints - The easiest way to find a legitimate gaming site is to read reviews and complaints. Searching for the name of the site along with keywords like "reviews" and "complaints" can bring up posts written by past or present customers of those sites.
Reviews alert you of problems that members have with the site such as payment issues or promotions that didn't pan out.
You can also find extensive reviews and guides done by forums or gambling review sites.
Try to locate reviews from members of the site and not large websites or forums. It's possible that they were paid to do a review for the site.
The difference between legit reviews and sales pieces can be subtle. Look for reviews like the ones on our site-reviews that look at the pros and cons of the site. If a review is too glowing, it's almost certainly not written by a real gambler.
Customer Service - Any place that we give our business to, we want and expect a certain degree of customer service. Online gaming sites should be no different.
Contact the customer service team to get a feel for the service they provide. Imagine that you have a real problem. Is the level of customer service the team gives you going to anger you or help you?
Keep in mind how long they take to get back to you and how thoroughly they answer your question.
You might also want to check the customer service hours. See if they're available when you are going to be playing.
Games Offered - Research the variety of games offered on the site. Some sites "specialize" in one type of a game or another. For example, a site that's specializing in blackjack might offer more blackjack promotions than poker promotions.
We've seen sites that offer slot machine and video poker games exclusively. Blackjack players should probably skip signing up for such sites.
Deposit and Payment - Check out the deposit options and payment information available on the site. Some payment information you might want to research includes processing time, fees and whether or not you have to wait until you have a certain limit to withdraw your funds.
Are offshore gambling sites safe?
Before sites are allowed to offer offshore gambling, they must first have a license to do so. Look up the site's license to make sure it's current. Read more information regarding the licensing jurisdiction. Each jurisdiction has its own regulations about fees.
You should also check out how long a gambling site has been in business. The longer the site has been in business, the more reviews and information you'll be able to find on the site.
If a business wants to keep running, a steady stream of customers is needed. Sites that have been open for a lengthy amount of time probably have a steady stream of loyal customers that are happy with the site.
We're confident that any of the Wyoming gambling sites we recommend will meet your needs.
Breaking down what exactly is or isn't legal in Wyoming. Gambling Venues in Wyoming
Where to gamble in the state of Wyoming. The History of Gaming Laws in Wyoming
A brief history of Wyoming laws regarding gambling. Additional Information
Still have questions? Check out these links. The Future of Gambling in Wyoming
What does the future of gambling look like in Wyoming?
More Gambling Laws in Wyoming
According to Section 6-7-101 of the Wyoming Statues, gambling is defined as:
"risking any property for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control"
Gambling in Wyoming is a misdemeanor that can land you up to six months in jail and a $750 fine.
Some forms of gambling are an exception to the Wyoming gambling law, which we will cover below:
Casino games: Legal in Tribal Casinos
Under the federal Indian Gaming Act, since Wyoming allows class 3 gaming, such as poker, in social settings, they must allow class 3 gaming in tribal casinos.
Tribal casinos are allowed to offer poker, blackjack, roulette and slot machines.
Only two casinos in Wyoming offer poker, blackjack and roulette.
The other two casinos in Wyoming are slot machine casinos with restaurants attached to them. One of them also offers a bingo hall.
Sports and race: Pari-mutuel Only
Calcutta wagering is allowed in Wyoming. That includes wagering on horse races. Here's what the Wyoming statutes defines Calcutta wagering as:
"means wagering on the outcome of amateur contests, cutter horse racing, dog sled racing, professional rodeo events or professional golf tournament in which those who wager bid at auction for the exclusive right to "purchase" or wager upon a particular contestant or entrant in the event and when the outcome of the event has been decided the total wagers comprising the pool, less a percentage "take-out" by the event's sponsor, is distributed to those who "purchased" or wagered upon the winning contestants or entrants;"
Greyhound racing is illegal in Wyoming.
Here's a list of the current off track betting locations in Wyoming.
Some of the off-track wagering locations offer simulcasting-where betting on past races is allowed. The horses' names are removed from past races to avoid anyone looking up the results to gain an edge.
The Wyoming lottery was legalized in 2013. Each year, the first $6 million dollars from the state lottery goes to the state treasury. Anything after $6 million, the lottery gives to the state fund for education.
Wyoming doesn't have the typical scratch off lottery tickets. They only offer draw games.
Here's what the Wyoming lottery website says about scratch off tickets:
"Will there be scratch games?
No. The legislation that authorized the creation of a lottery in Wyoming specifically prohibits scratch games. However, we are currently researching other draw games that we will introduce in the future."
Wyoming lottery games include:
- WyoLotto Cowboy Draw
- Wyoming Powerball
- Wyoming Mega Millions
- Wyoming Lucky for Life
The Wyoming Lottery website says they're currently researching off draw type games to offer Wyoming residents.
Wyoming has 448 lottery retailers currently. Here is a link to a list of all the retailers.
Bingo: Charitable Bingo Only
Wyoming gambling laws exclude charitable bingo games from their definition of gambling.
Here's what the Wyoming Statues says about bingo:
"Bingo games conducted, or pull tabs sold, by charitable or nonprofit organizations where the tickets for the bingo are sold only in this state and the pull tabs are sold only on the premises owned or occupied by the charitable or nonprofit organization provided that:
Bingo games and pull tab games shall only be conducted by charitable or nonprofit organizations, which have been in existence in this state for at least three (3) years;"
Here's a list of Wyoming bingo halls that offer legal charitable bingo.
Social Gambling: Legal
Wyoming gambling laws exclude some social gambling if they're performed by people with a bonafide relationship. A bonafide relationship means that you and the other players have a relationship outside of gambling.
Only games of skill, speed, endurance or strength are allowed under bonafide gambling. This includes games like poker.
Here's what the Wyoming Statutes has to say about accepted social gambling:
"Bona fide contests of skill, speed, strength or endurance in which awards are made only to entrants or the owners of entries;
Any game, wager or transaction which is incidental to a bona fide social relationship, is participated in by natural persons only, and in which no person is participating, directly or indirectly, in professional gambling"
Gambling Venues in Wyoming
Wyoming has four casinos, two of which only have slot machines.
Wind River Hotel & Casino
Riverton, WY 82501
Phone number: (866) 657-1604
Table games and slot machines are available.
Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel
Lander, WY 82520
Phone number: (307) 335-7529
Table games and slot machines are available.
Little Wind Casino
Ethete, WY 82520
Phone number: (307) 335-8703
Only slot machines are available.
789 Smokeshop & Casino
Riverton, WY 82501
Phone number: (307) 856-6789
Only slot machines are available.
History of Gambling in Wyoming
The pari-mutuel racing commission is established to rule over racing and wagering on racing.
Wyoming and 2 tribes sign compacts to run casinos on the Wind River reservation.
Wyoming lottery is legalized.
The Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act is passed, and Wyoming refuses to negotiate with tribes in their state.
The Federal court gives the Arapaho tribe permission to run casino games on reservation land.
The Future & Your Views
Wyoming gambling laws aren't likely to change much in the future. Wyoming has a reputation for strict gambling laws with no craps, roulette or any other chance-based gambling legalized aside from pari-mutuel horse race betting.
Wyoming might be one of the last states to see state regulated gaming sites-if they ever approve it. Currently, only two states have regulated gambling sites, and if it takes Wyoming as long as it did to approve state lottery, we're looking at another 50 years, at least.