Gambling regulation bill is headed to Wyoming Legislature

Thursday, February 6, 2020

CASPER, Wyo. (AP) — Wyoming lawmakers propose to expand the role of a commission that oversees horse racing to include regulating all for-profit gambling. 

The new gambling commission, currently called the Pari-Mutuel Commission, would regulate everything from games of skill to bingo halls.

The law would specifically exclude nonprofit organizations such as the Boy Scouts or National Rifle Association that rely on games like bingo to raise money.

Such groups would still have to report gambling proceeds to the state, the Casper Star-Tribune reports.

The Joint Committee on Travel, Recreation and Cultural Resources voted 11-2 on Jan. 30 to advance the bill for possible consideration by the full Legislature. A four-week session devoted primarily to the state budget begins Monday.

The Northern Arapaho Tribe previously opposed regulated gambling across Wyoming but tribal officials now support the change, saying it could stem the spread of unregulated gambling while building public confidence in gambling.

However, the bill as written is overly broad, they said.

“We’ve been doing it for well over 20 years, and there’s a lot that goes into that,” Northern Arapaho Business Council member Stephen Fast Horse said. “We see this bill as a start and something that will need improvement.”