The Wyoming Gaming Commission approved Monday a series of online sports betting rules, paving the way for a timely launch of the industry this fall.
The WGC, which gave a unanimous vote, was required to make sports betting laws effective by Sept. 1. The football season begins Sept. 9, the much-anticipated event many legalizing states have set as their launch date, including Wyoming.
The Wyoming sports betting will launch as the online-only industry, becoming the second such industry after Tennessee sports betting that went live last November. Though Virginia sports betting, which launched in January, is also a mobile-only state, it will have a retail industry as soon as casinos are built.
What Happened on Monday?
The WGC held a brief meeting on Monday, two days after a public comment period on the proposed rules expired. The commission took up a set of mobile sports betting rules and a set of emergency online sports betting rules. Both measures ended up in unanimous approval.
The 122-page document of final rules includes nine chapters on standards and procedures for digital sports betting and associated wagering system across Cowboy State. The final rules include among other things, sections on responsible gaming advertising, auditing and internal controls, and taxes and payments.
What is the Difference Between Regular and Emergency Rules?
During Monday’s meeting, Wyoming Gaming Commission Executive Director Charles Moore explained both the emergency and regular rules are the same. Though the language is identical, emergency rules will cease to be effective 120 days after being filed with the state register, according to state law.
The emergency set of rules are meant to roll out the new industry to keep pace with its scheduled launch date in time for NFL betting. The regular rules may take up a few more weeks before they’re implemented.
The governor is likely to quickly sign off the emergency set of rules, allowing the legislature to complete the standard rulemaking process.
Moore said the speed is going to be a priority issue.
First State to Allow Cryptocurrency
When it launches – possibly on Sept. 9 – Wyoming will become the first US state to allow sportsbooks to accept bets in crypto and virtual currencies as long as the digital bets can be converted to cash.
However, it will be a huge task before Wyoming – the smallest state with sports betting when it goes live – to ensure transparency in such transactions.
“The biggest challenge with crypto is the ability to track transactions and know where the money is coming from,” Brendan Bussman, a partner with Global Market Advisors, said.
The Wyoming law would allow anyone who’s 18 or above to place legal wagers on sports. Wyoming will become one of the few states that require a bettor to be less than 21 to wager legally.
How Have We Reached Here?
Earlier this month, leading operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, and Barstool submitted letters of intent to seek sports betting licenses in Cowboy State, according to Moore, who also hinted at the possible entry of SuperBook Sports in the state.
Applications for sports betting licenses opened on July 15.
If sports betting goes live by Sept.1, Wyoming will become the third state to launch in less than five months after the industry was legalized. Gov. Mark Gordon signed HB 133 into law in April.
Under the law, Wyoming must have a minimum of five digital licenses at a fee of $100,000, which is renewable each year with a $50,000 fee.
There’s no cap set on the maximum licenses, just like Tennessee sports betting. The commission plans to begin issuing licenses ahead of the NFL regular season on Sept. 9.
Gordon became the first governor to legalize sports betting in this calendar year when signed HB 133 in April.