Wyoming Senate Passes Bill To Legalize Online Sports Betting
A bill that would legalize online sports betting passed the Wyoming Senate on a 24-5 vote on Monday.
House Bill 133 had already narrowly passed the state House, although it took a reconsideration vote for that to happen.
Under the bill, the Wyoming Gaming Commission would impose a 10 percent tax on sports wagering. In a fiscal note attached to the bill, the Wyoming Legislative Service Office said it could not estimate how much money the bill might raise for state coffers.
But the state's illegal sports betting market is estimated at a whopping $449 million, according to the gaming commission. Wyoming is currently facing major budget challenges, with the school funding shortfall alone estimate at $300 million when the session started on March 1.
Opponents of the bill in floor debate in the state House worried about the social damage caused by the spread of gambling addiction. But supporters argued that Wyoming residents are already placing sports bets. The neighboring states of Wyoming and Colorado are among 20 states that have some kind of legal sports betting.
The bill does earmark the first $300,000 in revenues raised by legalized sports gambling to fund gambling addiction treatment programs.
Here is how the Senate voted on House Bill 133 on third and final reading on Monday:
Ayes: ANDERSON, BALDWIN, BITEMAN, BONER, BOUCHARD, COOPER, ELLIS, FRENCH, FURPHY, GIERAU, HICKS, JAMES, KINSKEY, KOLB, KOST, LANDEN, MCKEOWN, NETHERCOTT, PAPPAS, PERKINS, ROTHFUSS, SALAZAR, SCHULER, WASSERBURGER
Nays: CASE, DOCKSTADER, HUTCHINGS, SCOTT, STEINMETZ