- Sports Betting remains illegal, except for offshore betting sites
- Slow off the mark, keep waiting a while longer.
Wyoming has witnessed a fair share of discussion regarding the sports betting scene, especially in the wake of the monumental decision by the US Supreme Court in 2018 which mobilized the provision of legalized and regulated sports betting to every state of the US.
In Wyoming, the reaction has been unrushed to the prospect of sports betting, which is owing to certain geographical and demographic factors. There have existed certain obstacles in the path towards a coherent betting atmosphere, which has discouraged the state-regulated sports betting here.
Wyoming features a decentralized population but despite all these elements, the betting scenario returns with a new dimension for the sports fanatics. The situation has taken a turn for good as people are vehemently engaging in sports betting facilities afforded by offshore companies, which flaunts a contemporary mix of wagering process on sports activities. The state of Wyoming may not be a giant in the west and may not boast of a renowned professional sports representation, but its residents are spectators of the greater sports scene and hence profoundly employ the use of offshore betting sites that would be covered in this article.
Gambling Laws within the State
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, commonly known as PASPA, effectively banned sports betting in all the US states, with Nevada being the only exception. Thus, the state of Wyoming had been the spectator of various laws targeted at destabilizing the act of sports betting in its vicinity. The act was appealed by New Jersey in 2018, with SCOTUS deciding in favor of the appeal nullifying the impact of PASPA on the sports betting activities in the states. The decision provided every state the autonomy to legislate in the domain of sports betting as per their discretion.
Wyoming has not initiated much towards establishing a vibrant betting environment, with the sports betting still prohibited in the state. However, the law does not refer to the online betting services, providing the grey area for sports gamblers to venture into and place their bets. Wyoming residents have turned to the platform of renowned offshore companies like Bovada to wager on the sports activities without the fear of facing a penalty in response to the violation of the state law. As long as you have done adequate inquiry into the payout histories and the status of these offshore websites, you are good to go and enjoy the betting experience without the fear of being convicted by the state authorities on the grounds of violation of the law.
Wyoming has enacted laws that prohibit betting through domestic platforms. The ‘Federal Wire Act’ being enforced in the state prohibits bets from being accepted through US-based sportsbooks across state lines. The basic fabric of the law was created in 1961 to counter illegal gambling practices taking place through wired communication systems. This created confusion with the emergence of the contemporary betting mediums. The Department of Justice (DOJ) interpreted the law to only target the area of sports betting. However, the act was revisited for further interpretation and the DOJ reinterpreted the act to include all the existing gambling practices. However, the offshore platforms have been the gray area for the betting practices with no specific law catering to the status of their services.
Gambling has been defined by Wyoming Statutes Article 1, Chapter 7, Title 6 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, but does not include any of the following:
(A) Bona fide contests of skill, speed, strength or endurance in which awards are made only to the entrants or the owners of entries;
(B) Bona fide business transactions which are valid under the law of contracts
(C) Other acts or transactions now or hereafter expressly authorized by the law.”
This definition prominently includes the aspect of sports betting making it an uphill task to legalize it in the state.
Wyoming has enforced the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) which imposes certain restrictions on banks and other such financial institutions from processing transactions from the illegal betting sites. This does not feature the offshore companies providing betting services if they have acquired the license and are regulated by the relevant authorities.
Just like most of the states, Wyoming has permitted skill games, online horse/ greyhound race betting, and fantasy sports. The lack of physical betting sites is still apparent in these fields, however, there are online services offering betting platforms for such endeavors.
Wyoming has a history of horse/greyhound racing which is held occasionally at the Wyoming Downs, Sweetwater Downs, and Energy Downs. In 2011, the state legalized the Advance- Deposit Wagering (ADW) which empowers the customers to place real money bets by signing up at licensed horse racing sites. Wagers are entertained at the full track odds and the money is channeled into each track’s betting pool, making a systematic process for each race. Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission administers the ADW and all the horse racing betting. Some of the optimum platforms for horse racing betting are TVG, AmWager, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires. All these websites require sign-up accounts to place bets for horse racing events. Moreover, there exists the concept of Off Track Betting (OTB) where you can place bets on live simulcast races in the licensed bars taverns and other such premises. Moreover, the state induced another option for the people interested in the aspect of horse race betting by the passing of the HB 25 through the legislature, which ultimately became the law. Commonly referred to as ‘Historic Horse Racing’, the option consists of a set of machines (resembling slot machines) which allow its users to predict the winners of the horse races held in the past. The machines are available at public gathering spots like bars, restaurants, etc. throughout the state.
Other than the traditional sports betting, there is the aspect of fantasy sports betting which allows its user more control over the outcome than the conventional betting practices. This involves participating in single day leagues where you can enjoy instant payouts. You just have to log in to a major fantasy sports site and go head-to-head with another member by drafting a team. The tournaments featured in the fantasy sports can come with million-dollar prize money, fashioning it into a popular alternative to the conventional sports betting. If you are a participant in one of the skill games, you would be permitted by the law to place wagers, provided they are placed on yourself and not on the other participants. This aspect covers all the games being played in the state and also on the platforms online. The reason cited behind such possibilities is that the element of luck is denounced in such instances and everyone starts on equal footing, shoveling it away from the definition of gambling specified in the Wyoming Statutes Article 1, Chapter 7, and Title 6. The two distinguished sites for participating in such games are the FanDuel and DraftKings.
Sports’ betting has been an unexplored area in the state of Wyoming which is not helped by its geographical and demographical aspects and the absence of a vibrant professional sports scene. The decision of the US Supreme Court regarding the annulment of the PASPA is a major ray of hope as it empowers the states to incorporate the regulation of sports betting and reap the benefits associated with it. The state has overseen the inauguration of certain casinos in the recent past and the initiation of the Wyoming State Lottery offers a share of optimism with the sports betting. However, any such instance is unlikely and it is plausible to employ the usage of offshore sites if you desire to place a sports bet.
Wyoming Online Sports Betting
Unbeknownst to many, online sports betting has been occurring for many years. Wyoming sports betting turnover for 2019 was $1.5 million, wagered via online sport betting sites. These online sport betting sites are offshore and are open to accepting US players.
Is this illegal?
It is a gray area. The current state laws do not clearly articulate whether gambling offshore online is illegal or not. Therefore, you will find many online sports books (and online casinos) accepting US players from states that have ambiguous gambling laws – Wyoming is one of those states.
Is it dangerous?
There are two aspects to this question.
Firstly, will you get caught or fined?
I highly doubt it. Till this day, there has been no precedence of anyone being charged with breaking the law for playing at offshore online sports betting books or offshore online casinos.
Secondly, are offshore sports betting books trustworthy and reliable?
Very much so. They have been operating in the market for many years and sports betting is a clear cut outcome (when compared to online casino games). It’s therefore extremely difficult to argue that an outcome of a sports bet is wrong.
How can I find an online Sports Book?
The most popular offshore sports book is Bovada. It is the largest and has a long standing history of operating a sports book for US citizens.
Do NOT place a bet at an unlicensed sports book operating offshore. Unlicensed sportsbooks may not be reliable. Although they may offer great Welcome Bonuses, their promise to pay any winnings may be empty. Keep with the which are trusted and the big brand names.
How can I place a Sports Bet onshore?
It is illegal to run a sports book or place a sports bet within the borders of Wyoming. Other than placing a sports bet at an offshore online sports book the only other option is to travel interstate where sports betting has been legalized.
Popular Sport Bets
- NBA – Wyoming has no NBA basketball teams.
- MLB – Wyoming has no Major League Baseball teams.
- NFL – Wyoming has no NFL teams.
- NHL – Wyoming has no NHL ice hockey teams.