Wyoming Online Gambling For Real Money

Wyoming gambling started out as wild as they come, with the saloon poker games that went on there during the 19th century. The 20th century brought Wyoming statehood and a much more respectable reputation toward real money gambling, of the sort that simply does not allow any of it.

Wyoming’s dry gambling era went on for many decades, and when they did get back to allowing gambling, they certainly took their time. It’s only been a few years now since they had anything but betting on live horse racing, but the state is now in a gambling revival that suggests that Wyoming gambling may get a whole lot more exciting soon.

Wyoming gambling has grown a lot since the state finally stood down from preventing their Indian tribes from running casinos, and since then they have adopted a lottery and horse-racing themed gaming machines. We’ll show you that there is more than this already, and what else may be coming down the pipe soon.

History of Gambling in Wyoming

Wyoming Online Casinos and GamblingLike many territories on the American frontier in the 19th century, Wyoming used to be a pretty happening place when it came to saloon gambling. One particular establishment stood out, the Occidental Saloon, part of the historic Occidental Hotel which still operates today, giving guests a genuine glimpse into a time long gone by.

Visitors can even check out original bullet holes in the ceiling that were made by some of the most famous gunfighters in the Old West, including legend Butch Cassidy and his sidekick The Sundance Kid, whose gang had their hideout not far from the Buffalo, Wyoming hotel and casino. The Occidental Casino used to have poker games running all day and night, with some players spending days at a time at the table.

Part of the reason for this is that it you wanted to avoid walking away up other people’s money still at the table, where you would try to get them to leave first and avoid refunds being asked for at the end of a gun. The players who were down wanted to stay to try to win their money back, so this made from some pretty long sessions indeed.

Prior to Wyoming becoming a state in 1901, Wyoming went through a period where the area saw many gun battles related to disputes between cattlemen and homesteaders. This was not left up to the law to decide, and in one particularly contentious battle, the cattlemen brought in hired killers from Texas to collect bounties, with the homesteaders teaming up to battle them. The U.S. Army had to be eventually called in to break things up. This was a pretty wild period even by Wild West standards.

Once Wyoming got statehood, maintaining order became more of a priority, and the first thing that the new state did was to pass a law called the McGill Act, which banned gambling in the state in all forms. This law still applies, with only a few exceptions added over the years since.

It wasn’t until 1967 that Wyoming regained its appetite for any gambling, when the state legalized pari-mutuel wagering. After years of decline, Wyoming horse racing came to a halt in 2010. Betting on horses made a real comeback in 2014 though when the state started allowing simulcast wagering as well as terminals that people can wager on “historical races,” which brought the industry fully back to its feet and then some.

There are no less than 17 places that you can go to in Wyoming to bet on horse races as well as bet on historical ones at a terminal. A few of them even offer live horse races, which is now back stronger than ever.

The 1988 federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act gave certain Indian tribes the legal right to offer real money gambling on their tribal lands, although many states did fight back, and some took a lot longer than others to work out deals with their tribes. Wyoming took the ultimate step, they simply refused to negotiate, and fought the deal in the courts for 17 years before they finally lost the battle, leading to their signing a compact in 2006.

There are now 4 fairly modest-sized Indian casinos in Wyoming, which have 1,570 slots, 19 table games, and a poker table between them. This isn’t much, but on the other hand, there just aren’t that many people in Wyoming, the least populous state in the country with only 570,000 people living there, spread out over one of the largest states in the country. In perspective, the casino market here is better served than it may appear.

Wyoming finally got a lottery, but waited until 2013 to do it, coming in 45th in the race among states to get one, and only second to Mississippi in terms of patience waiting to decide. The Wyoming Lottery has an app, but only to check tickets with and not to buy them. It does offer a full assortment of traditional lottery games though.

Wyoming also allows charitable gambling, including bingo, and they also have 3 full-time bingo halls. Two poker rooms that are allowed to operate in the open outside the law, one in each of Wyoming’s two main cities round out the list of what Wyoming offers in terms of gambling these days.

Wyoming Key Facts

  • Abbreviation: WY
  • State Motto: Equal Rights
  • Capital City: Cheyenne
  • Largest City: Cheyenne
  • Population Estimate: 578,759 (50th)
  • Website: wyo.gov

Wyoming Gambling Laws

Wyoming’s gambling law uses a method to prohibit gambling generally that is also successfully used in several other states, with the definition of gambling that they provide. “Gambling means risking any property for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking the risk has no control.”

This does a fabulous job of singling out the three main forms of gambling. Poker depends on chance in part, casino games do as well in addition to their using devices, and the law even specifically mentions betting on sports in its definition of gambling.

All they need to do is to add in a provision making gambling against the law, and Wyoming law does exactly that, specifying that “a person who engages in gambling commits a misdemeanor…” The penalties are up to 6 months’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $750, or both.

It is also against the law to profit from gambling, whether operating a gambling establishment or even just promoting it, so you can neither gamble nor offer it without breaking the law in Wyoming.

As for how Wyoming law applies to real money online gambling, while some may think that a state needs to explicitly mention the term online gambling in order for it to speak on the issue, this instead comes down to an interpretation of how a state’s general gambling prohibitions may apply to real money online gambling to decide the matter.

Unless a state is opposed to all gambling, and only Utah doesn’t have some sort of legal gambling going on in their state, the goal of a ban on gambling is to allow the state to define what is legal. If everything is illegal unless they say otherwise, this gives the state the opportunity to clearly define what legal gambling goes on, fashioned exactly to their liking.

Wyoming law does permit several types of gambling, including charitable and social gambling, betting on horses, and the lottery. The state also has 4 Indian casinos, and a couple of poker rooms which are just allowed to operate in defiance of the law. This goes to show how important the will to enforce laws can end up being.

Land-Based Gambling in Wyoming

Wyoming’s first foray into legal gambling since it was shut down completely in 1901, when Wyoming became a state, was to allow bets on horse races. While horse racing has died off in many parts of the country, where it thrived when it was the only game in town but has wilted under the greatly increased competition from other ways to gamble, betting on horses in Wyoming is thriving these days, bigger and better than ever.

Wyoming view of gambling remains substantially similar to what it was back in 1967 when the state first legalized it, back when they relented towards betting on horses but could not see its way to permit anything else. The only thing they have allowed since is the lottery and it took them almost 50 years from the time they allowed pari-mutuel wagering to come around to this.

It’s not that horse racing didn’t die in Wyoming as well, back in 2010 when all the tracks closed and it was laid to rest, but it did rise up from the dead in 2014 once Wyoming expanded their definition of horse race betting the year before while they were passing the changes in the law allowing for the Wyoming Lottery.

It used to be that all you could bet on was live racing, and this could not stand on its own anymore, as has been fairly common. Live racing is back, now that horse racing venues can also take bets on simulcast races, take bets on other races held elsewhere, and also play slot type machines that have you betting on past races.

This did more than wake up the industry, as it caused quite a few venues to open up that offered bets on races elsewhere as well as these “historical racing” machines. There are now 17 places to bet on horses at, and a couple actually have real horses on site.

These aren’t quite your normal slot machines, and the historical races part is more of a ruse than anything, but this is similar enough in important ways. You can stand in front of a machine and gamble at it. You just have to do it in a way that the state of Wyoming is comfortable with, and these horse race betting machines are the leading edge of this at the moment.

There aren’t a lot of things besides horses that you can legally gamble at in Wyoming, however the state did throw in a few other goodies when they made horse race betting legal, making both charitable and social gambling legal.

Wyoming has 3 full-time bingo halls to go along with its 17 horse race betting venues, in addition to all of the charitable gambling that charitable organizations offer. The only other thing you can gamble on legally in Wyoming is the state lottery.

Having social gambling legal is a big plus, and even though there may not be a lot of places to go out and gamble in public at, social gambling at least gives people the opportunity to gamble all they want provided that they have the network to do it. Public gambling does bring gamblers together a more, and while Wyoming isn’t known for its appetite for much of this, this appetite appears to be finally growing.

Wyoming has a bill under consideration that, if passed, will really open up gambling and bring it to the people. The bill would allow 3,000 slot machines, not horse racing ones but the real deal, to be spread out at 1,000 bars, restaurants, truck stops, liquor stores, and convenience stores around the state. 3,000 slot machines may not sound like much, but it’s twice as many as Wyoming’s 4 Indian casinos have in total, right in your neighborhood.

This isn’t as big of a step as it may appear as Wyoming already has plenty of “unregulated” slot machines, as they call them, although the normal word would be illegal. Looking the other way is one thing, and legalizing it and expanding it is quite another.

The Indians still have the upper hand as far as game selection goes, as they offer both slots and a smattering of real money casino table games and even a little live real money poker, but it’s a whole lot easier to go to the store down the street than to drive to one of these rather out-of-the-way Indian reservations.

The Indians have just about all of the casino gambling and poker to themselves, save for a couple of poker rooms, one in Cheyenne and one in Casper. There’s no legislation allowing for this, and these are real poker rooms, operating in full view of the law in this “unregulated” form. This in itself speaks to how much the view of gambling in Wyoming is changing now.

  • List of Land Based Casinos in Wyoming
    CasinoAddressPhone
    Wind River Hotel & Casino180 Red, Wolf Creek Dr, Riverton, WY 82501307-855-2600
    Shoshone Rose Casino5690 US-287, Lander, WY 82520307-206-7000
    789 Smokeshop & Casino180 Red, Wolf Creek Dr, Riverton, WY 82501307-857-9451
    Little Wind Casino800 Blue Sky Hwy, Ethete, WY 82520307-438-7000
    Cheyenne Horse Palace1802 Dell Range Blvd #3, Cheyenne, WY 82009307-635-2407
    Gillette Horse Palace1020 E. Hwy. #14-16 Inside Sundance Lounge, Gillette, WY 82716307-682-1879
    Sheridan Horse Palace2240 Coffeen Ave, Sheridan, WY 82801307-673-4846
    Wyoming Downs359 Miracle St, Evansville, WY 82636307-333-6005
    Wyoming Downs Race Track10180 WY-89, Evanston, WY 82930307-789-7223
    The Beacon Club OTB4100 W Yellowstone Hwy, Mills, WY 82644307-577-1503
    Wyoming Downs OTB Evanston1925 Harrison Dr, Evanston, WY 82930307-783-7529
    Rock Springs Horse PalaceInside Bomber's Sports Bar, 1549 Elk St, Rock Springs, WY 82901307-382-0685

Wyoming Online Casinos & Slots Gambling

Approving online sports betting has become a lot more fashionable among states these days, with many new entrants over just the past couple of years. This has become so popular that even Wyoming took a shot at it, although the attempt narrowly failed, 32 to 27, in the Wyoming House.

Getting almost half of the state legislature to vote to legalize online sports betting is real progress in a state where online gambling was merely a dream not long ago. While online poker and online casino remain just a dream, if we can see these two other forms of real money online gambling gain the momentum that sports betting has lately, this may at least serve to bring online casino and poker into the conversation.

Wyoming has no legal online real money gambling at the present time, and this bill failing to pass tells us that the state isn’t quite ready for this yet. In a state that has yet to agree to their own lottery tickets being sold online, that really speaks to how closed you are to the idea generally, and this is therefore real progress.

It’s hard to say how long it might take before enough support can be achieved. However, Wyoming’s improving attitude toward land-based gambling does bode well for the attitude toward online gambling continuing to improve. There are some good reasons to be optimistic now.

It’s not that any of this has anything to do with providing access to Wyomingites to real money online gambling, as there are many sites of varying qualities that they can take advantage of right now. You can play on Wyoming regulated online gambling sites once they get around to it, but you can play on online gambling sites regulated elsewhere either way.

There are lots of land-based casinos out there beyond Wyoming’s borders, although you do have to physically travel to a land-based casino to play there. With the online casinos located elsewhere, the time to travel there gets reduced to just seconds, the time it takes to log in.

Wyoming doesn’t have any say in the gaming regulation of other jurisdictions, nor, as it turns out, do they have any in the regulation of their own residents gambling online. This would require them to, at a minimum, have domain over servers in other countries, which they clearly do not. There just isn’t a way for anyone to ever catch you doing this, which is similar to the “unregulated” gambling that goes on in Wyoming, only the state does not have the means to regulate the online stuff.

Wyomingites may welcome state regulated online gambling, but this turns out to be optional. All you really need is to know where the best places around the world are, which you will discover by checking out our top recommendations for you.

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Future of Gambling in Wyoming

Wyoming got off to a pretty slow start compared to most states, and the fact that they had no gambling at all for 66 years speaks to this, as does the fact that they don’t have a whole lot else even today.

Wyoming does not look very progressive at all on the outside, but if you look closer, the state’s attitude has come a long way lately and has taken them pretty close to deserving to be called progressive.

Allowing for social and charitable gambling at least showed that Wyoming isn’t against gambling in general, as this shows us that they are just against commercial gambling, allowing it freely in these non-commercial forms.

The way that the state came to the rescue of the horse racing industry by allowing them to offer betting on anything involving horse races anywhere, even from well in the past, also shows promise. The tracks and venues that thrive today are generally the ones that the state has allowed to host other gambling, although some are just left to die. Wyoming definitely stepped up, and their allowing gambling machines, even horse race themed ones, at least provided an entry point into the idea generally.

The reason why you often don’t see much in terms of illegal slot machines is that some states really crack down on this, while others may devote less effort to it and see more of them as a result. Wyoming has looked the other way on this, and this has resulted in a considerable number of these slots in the state. They also look the other way with a couple of poker rooms who operate in the open with the implicit consent of the state.

Wyoming recently had no less than 5 gambling bills under consideration, and while there is much to do in order to see Wyoming catch up to many other states, the effort at least is well underway.

As we wait for the expected change to unfold, Wisconsinites can at least take comfort in the fact that expanding the real money online gambling scene in Wyoming isn’t really needed, and there actually isn’t a need to wait for the future when it is already possible and easily accessible. Let us guide you toward the best there is out there where you can play your favorite real money online gambling games right now.

Wyoming Online Slots & Casinos FAQs
  • Did Wyoming have gambling before it became a state?

    As was typical with Western territories prior to becoming states, gambling in Wyoming when it was a territory was fully open, where the saloon played a prominent role in the culture of the day. One particular saloon in Buffalo, Wyoming, was famous for its wild poker playing, with games often lasting for several days, and this saloon also boasted several famous outlaws as regulars, including Butch Cassidy and Calamity Jane.

  • What led to Wyoming banning all gambling in 1901?

    Toward the end of the 19th century, when Wyoming was seeking to become a state, the Wyoming frontier was wilder than most. Saloons tended to attract a lot of outlaws, at a time when gambling was starting to disappear from the western frontier, and once Wyoming became a state in 1901, the feeling was that banning gambling would serve to help rid the new state of some of these undesirables, a practice that several other new states had already taken.

  • When did gambling finally return to Wyoming?

    After saying no to gambling completely during the first 66 years of Wyoming’s tenure as a state, they finally gave in and made betting on horses legal in 1967. The acceptability of horse race betting has been considerably greater than other forms of gambling in Wyoming, and they took almost 50 years to even agree to legalizing a lottery. Horse race betting remains very prominent in Wyoming to this day as a result.

  • Does Wyoming offer charitable and social gambling as well?

    Pari-mutuel horse race betting wasn’t the only form of gambling that the state approved around the time that they finally said yes to this, as they also started to allow charitable organizations around the state to offer it as well. Wyoming also allows what is called social gambling, gambling in private between players where only the players benefit, and no one rakes pots or banks the games.

  • How did Wyoming respond to the coming of Indian casinos in the U.S.?

    Back when the federal law was passed, in 1988, that permitted federally regulated Indian tribes to offer casino gambling on their tribal lands whether states wanted them to or not, a number of states sought to delay this with legal challenges. No one fought harder against this than Wyoming, and it wasn’t until they were completely defeated in the courts with no other options left that they finally decided to enter a compact with the state’s tribes.

  • What land-based gambling does Wyoming currently have?

    When the state finally stood down and accepted that they could no longer stop Indian casinos, the state’s tribes have opened up 4 of them which offer plenty of slot machines along with a few casino table games. Wyoming also has a lottery offering traditional lottery tickets, as well as 17 different places you can bet on horses at in different forms. There are also 2 real money poker rooms, charitable gambling, and social gambling.

  • What does Wyoming gambling law prohibit?

    While all states seek to ban all forms of gambling so they can dictate what is legal explicitly, most states fall short of the mark. Wyoming is not one of those states and have done a great job sealing all of the possible leaks. We are left with a law that successfully bans all gambling other than placing bets on events of pure skill that you participate in. Beyond that, Wyoming needs to specifically approve any form of legal gambling in the state.

  • What does Wyoming’s enforcement of its gambling laws tell us?

    While it may be against the law in Wyoming to operate poker rooms or have slot machines outside Indian reservations, this does not mean that such things don’t go on outside the law. Wyoming does have both poker rooms and illegal slot machines, but authorities have not shown interest in shutting down this gambling. This leads to a situation where something may be explicitly illegal but implicitly legal due to a lack of enforcement.

  • What progress is Wyoming making as far as opening up gambling soon?

    Not only is Wyoming not willing to shut down the state’s numerous illegal slots, there is a movement afoot to legalize and expand the number of slot machines in the state. If passed, this will triple the number of legal slots in the state, which at the moment are only offered legally by the Indians. There have been several other attempts to open things up more, including an online gambling bill that was narrowly defeated recently.

  • Can Wyomingites gamble online for real money yet?

    While the Wyoming legislature did come pretty close to approving the state’s first authorized real money gambling, people in Wyoming have been gambling online for decades already. This is all about the state getting in on the game, not the creation of it. The internet provides online gamblers complete freedom to play wherever they want, as long as a site will accept them. Let us show you the best places there are in the world that accept players from Wisconsin.

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Chief Editor: Mike leverages his true passion for online gambling to create a uniquely informative site that takes players well beyond the standard fare in the industry.