Is it unfair to say that the state of Wyoming ranks a wasteland when it comes to the sports world? Probably. But it’s definitely an empty-land. They have no major sports teams at any turn—neither college nor professional. Their high school basketball and football circuits can get pretty competitive, but they’re no national draw. All in all, Wyoming’s approach to sports betting fits the geographical make-up.
Wyoming Sports Betting Law
At present, it’s illegal with no plans to embrace the contrary. That said, unlike a state such as Utah, they do not go to great lengths to enforce rules and regulations. They don’t allow sportsbooks in their handful of casinos, but they also aren’t seeking to monitor internet gambling. They fall short of both flexible and obsessed, landing somewhere in between.
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Casinos Exist in Limited Supply
Fewer than five casinos operate throughout the state of Wyoming, though there are a few extra bingo halls that drum up the count if we’re looking to nitpick. This limited supply of gambling halls isn’t eye-popping. Casinos are becoming more and more popular around the country, but Wyoming doesn’t have the demand-to-revenue relationship to embrace the trend. Not only do they have the United States’ smallest population, as of the 2016 consensus, but their relative proximity to Nevada—and, thus, Las Vegas—makes it impossible for them to open facilities that appeal to enough people inside the state, let alone to gambling enthusiasts living outside it.
Daily Fantasy Sports Legal By Default
No direct legislation or proposals are in place to officially legalize or decry daily fantasy sports. Wyoming uses what they call a “predominance test,” which decides whether there is enough skill involved to recognize an event or contest as something more than an outcome based purely on chance. Some states have used this same mode of thought to legalize daily fantasy sports. Others have used it to make DFS illegal. If Wyoming ever introduces legislation, it could go either way. The absence of anything concrete, however, suggests they’d ultimately be okay with it.
Not Targeting Online Gambling
Wyoming’s stance on the online gambling wave that’s sweeping across not only the United States but the entire world can be summed up in one word: indifference.
Wagering is technically illegal outside regulated casinos and bingo halls, and they don’t allow sports betting in an official capacity. But they’re also not trying to gum up loopholes—like, again, Utah.
State representatives have admitted that while placing bets with international online sportsbooks and casinos is illegal per letter of the law, they wouldn’t prosecute patrons because the activity falls within such a gray area. The gambler in question is operating out of Wyoming; the site accepting their investment and paying out their winnings is not.
No Changes Imminent
Those hoping to see legalized sports betting pop up sometime soon in Wyoming shouldn’t get too excited. It’s not happening in the near future. Though the local government doesn’t seem entirely opposed to it, they also seem to recognize that pushing a pro-gambling agenda, like New Jersey has done, isn’t worth the prospective return.
They don’t have the incumbent population to enjoy the full benefits of domestically located and operated sportsbooks, and as we mentioned previously, their proximity to Nevada eliminates any chance they have of becoming a choice destination for residents outside the state.
Wyoming Gambling Law Overview
Please see below for a more specific breakdown of what betting types are and aren’t allowed in Wyoming at this time.
- Casino Gambling: Legal
- Tribal Gambling: Legal
- Poker: Legal
- Horse-Race Betting: Legal
- Dog-Race Betting: Not legal
- Lottery: Legal
- Daily Fantasy Betting: Not specified (but they won’t stop you from registering with sites)
- Social Gambling: Legal
- Charitable Gambling: Legal
- Online Gambling: Not specified
Wyoming Sports Teams
Please note that due to the absence of any noteworthy teams in Wyoming, we will focus entirely on the most popular professional factions that are located outside state lines.
Denver Broncos (NFL)
The Denver Broncos monopolize fandom throughout three states: Colorado (obviously), Utah and Wyoming. Although the NFL, even in light of CTE studies, can still essentially print money, interest in the Broncos has increased tenfold over the past two decades or so, during which time they’ve enjoyed a run of more-than-modest success.
To wit: Since 2000-01, the Broncos have only ever finished below .500 twice. This span has been complemented by two trips to the Super Bowl, with one of those cameos culminating in a victory. Stir in a perennially gritty and great defense that resonates with the blue-collar working class in Wyoming, and you have the recipe for the state’s most popular team, bar none.
Denver Nuggets (NBA)
The Denver Nuggets always tend to get lost in the shuffle.
They have trouble drawing enough attendance from Colorado residents, since so many of them are imports from different states that have, in recent years, flocked to the region because of its progressive stance on marijuana (seriously) and booming real estate.
Still, the Nuggets do get to count Wyoming as the third state that predominantly views them as their favorite NBA team. And who knows, perhaps their popularity will skyrocket now that they once again have a viable playoff team, if not an absolute powerhouse, on their hands. Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Jamal Murray make for a foursome that could quite possibly return the Nuggets to an era of 50-plus win seasons and deep(er) playoff pushes.
Colorado Rockies (MLB)
Remember when the Colorado Rockies were good?
Neither do the Rockies.
To their credit, they have only been around since 1993—25 seasons. But three playoff appearances over a quarter-century isn’t good, not even when one of them resulted in a pennant.
By the by: You should absolutely be sensing a pattern here. Wyoming does not have teams of its own, and so they, like many other mountain-time locales, elect to ride the coattails of the nearest multi-sport region, which in this case is Colorado.
Wyoming’s Biggest Sporting Event of the Year
Rodeos typically don’t draw in large crowds. Even when bull-riding and such is the most popular sport in the state, the more prominent arenas usually hold up to a couple thousand seats max.
Wyoming is different. Much different. The Cheyenne Frontier Days Arena plays host to the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo each and every year, an event that is by far Wyoming’s largest state-wide draw. The stadium is likewise built to hold 19,000 people, and the town of Cheyenne, where the arena is stationed, spends the entire life of the rodeo buzzing with occupants.
Essentially, this is the closest thing Wyoming has to a sports-related tourist attraction.