Wyoming is preparing to potentially join the list of states that have authorized sports betting as Rep. Tom Walters spearheads a new piece of legislation to see mobile and online sports gambling through.
House Bill 133 Aims to Make Betting on Sports Permissible
Wyoming’s House of Representatives member Tom Walters is pushing ahead with a draft law ahead of next month’s legislative session in the hopes of legalizing sports betting in the state.
The federal ban on sports gambling known as PASPA was struck down in 2018 leading to the legalization of sports betting in 20 states and counting. Now, the Natrona County representative wants to see Wyoming join the ranks of legalized betting states, with House Bill 133 pushing for both online and mobile sports betting.
“My colleagues are certainly hearing from their folks at home. This is something they want to see,” said Tom Walters.
Congressman Walters explained that people in Wyoming were already wagering, so legalization would only help benefit consumers by protecting them. In a regulated betting market, Walters argues, a consumer would have the legal right to demand compensation if they are not paid for some reason.
Another benefit would be the state’s additional income as Bill 133 proposes a tax rate of 10% on net revenue from betting.
Even though there are many more steps before House Bill 133 is implemented, or even passed successfully, Walters hopes to have everything organized by the next college football season for Wyoming gamblers.
Colorado Placed Its First Legal Bet Back in May 2020
In November 2019, Colorado citizens voted on Proposition DD and approved the legalization of sports wagering in the state, thanks to the Director of the Division of Gaming, Dan Hartman. The first legal bet in Colorado was placed in May 2020, and a lot of the setup behind it mimics what Walters plans for Wyoming.
Hartman revealed part of the legalization setup was to thoroughly investigate parlors that would be offering bets, establishing mobile platforms, and developing ways of verifying customers’ identities. His team had to also go to Wyoming to confirm no bets could be placed out there in order to make sure the geolocation software was working properly.
He commented that even though it was a lengthy process, they moved faster than expected, and he believes that sports betting is an interesting new form of entertainment for Colorado citizens. One of the measures implemented for customers’ protection in Colorado is speed bumps to prevent gamblers from losing too much money.
“If you’re getting a little bit overextended, you’ve set your limit at $100 for a week or a month, and you start approaching that, those programs will stop you,” Hartman said.