Wyoming Casinos and Gambling
Wyoming is known as the “Cowboy State,” a moniker that immediately conjures images of rugged individuals who live by their own set of rules. When it comes to gambling within the state, Wyoming does its best to live up to the more individualistic days of the past, although certain restrictions remain in place.
In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the state of gambling within Wyoming. Whether you’re a local resident who’s ready to embark on a poker career or just a tourist who wants to play a few slots while passing through, this guide should help you stay in compliance with the law.
Wyoming Gambling Laws
Gambling was once frowned upon in Wyoming, but less restrictive laws have been passed in recent years to meet the demands of the public. For example, 2007 legislation repealed a law that made any form of gambling a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail. “Professional gambling” is also no longer considered a felony, a crime which until 2007 carried a penalty of up to three years in prison and a $3,000 fine.
One interesting twist to the state’s gambling laws is the legality of “social gambling.” As long as someone isn’t profiting from the event, and everyone present has some sort of genuine relationship, then social gambling is allowed.
Top 3 Online Casinos for Wyoming
Wyoming Indian Casinos
While the state of Wyoming doesn’t allow commercial casinos, they do have tribal gaming facilities as a result of the federal law allowing Native Americans a certain degree of autonomy within their own lands. Most of these facilities are open 24/7, although patrons must be at least 21 years of age of participate in gambling.
The following are the casinos currently located in the state. The games being offered at each location are also included.
• Wind River Hotel and Casino – Blackjack, craps, roulette, slots, 3-card poker, video poker, Texas Hold’em, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em.
• Shoshone Rose Casino – Slots, blackjack, video poker, Texas Hold’em Bonus, and Double Draw Poker.
• Little Wind Casino – Slots, video poker, and blackjack.
• 789 Smokeshop & Casino – Slots and video poker.
Lottery in Wyoming
In March of 2013, Wyoming became the 44th U.S. state to make it legal to conduct a lottery. Branded as WyoLotto, the Wyoming Lottery Corporation offers local and multi-state games to any customer who’s 18 or older.
Initially, the only lottery games offered in Wyoming were Mega Millions and Powerball. A ticket for the former cost $1, while the latter multi-state game was priced at $2. The state later unveiled a local lottery called Cowboy Draw, which allowed players to obtain two sets of five numbers for $5.
Of the revenue generated by the lottery, the first $6 million is earmarked for the state treasury. Once it’s given to that government body, the money filters down to various cities, towns, and counties throughout the state. If the amount of money generated exceeds $6 million, the surplus is placed in a statewide fund for education.
While the regular lottery is allowed, Wyoming is one of only a few states to prohibit video lottery terminals, instant win games, and scratch-off tickets.
Online Gambling in Wyoming
There are no state laws prohibiting online gambling, and finding a place to play is as easy as logging onto the Internet. This acceptance of virtual gaming extends to both online casinos and poker rooms, so players should be able to participate in whatever contest suits their needs.
As long as games are conducted by a charitable organization, bingo can be held anywhere within the state. It’s a popular pastime with locals, and tribal casinos have managed to use their special status to offer bingo and make a profit at the same time. If you’re passing through the state, here are some legal bingo halls to consider:
• 789 Smokeshop and Casino
• Hilltop Bingo
• Lucky Bucks Bingo Rock Springs
• One from Bingo
Pari Mutuel Racing in Wyoming
Horseracing can be watched and wagered on live at two tracks in Wyoming. The first is Sweetwater Downs in Rock Springs, and the second is Wyoming Downs in Evanston. The number of actual racing days is small, so most fans spend the bulk of their time at off-track betting facilities throughout the year.
While OTB facilities allow customers to wager on simulcast horse and dog racing, they also include the option for “historic racing” (which was made legal in 2013). These machines look similar to slots, but they also feature a movie of a previously-run race. While the identity of the race and horses are kept secret prior to the footage being shown, customers are given just enough information to try and pick a winner.
For off-track betting, the following sites are currently available throughout the state:
• Wyoming Downs at Shilo Inn (Evansville)
• AMVET Post 10 OTB (Cheyenne)
• Bomber’s Sports Bar and Grill OTB (Rock Springs)
• Legal Tender Restaurant and Lounge OTB (Evanston)
• Outlaw Saloon (Cheyenne)
• Players Sports Grille & OTB (Cheyenne)
• Rails Brews & Cues OTB (Sheridan)
• Sushi Boat (Laramie)
• The Beacon Club (Casper)
• Wyoming Downs OTB at Quality Inn (Evanston)
Owning a Slot Machine in Wyoming
According to Wyoming Statute 6-7-101, private residents can legally own any slot machine that’s more than 25 years old. This age definition would qualify the games as antiques and make them little threat to the local gaming industry.
In addition, these games must be kept within the home for personal use, and a profit cannot be generated by the owner. This is meant to restrict these devices to small-scale fun and prevent unlicensed backroom casinos from popping up in the suburbs.
While massive commercial casinos may not be allowed in the state, Wyoming makes up for it by offering a state lottery, tribal gaming, bingo, and pari-mutuel betting. Scratch-off cards are noticeably absent within the borders of the state, but this is balanced out by the fact that online gaming is easy to participate in. If you’re a gambling enthusiast in search of something to wager on, you’ll find numerous options at Wyoming casinos and other establishments.