Here, there, mountains everywhere. Yes, you’ll know when you’ve entered the beautiful state of Wyoming. With two national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, monuments and historic sites, there is no shortage of venues and destinations to explore within Wyoming’s borders. It’s the least populous state in the country and politically conservative, so one might assume that gambling would be a complete taboo for its residents. However, this is not quite the case. So, when not taking in the natural beauty of its surrounds, visitors and locals alike have a few legal avenues aside from fun play casinos and free play online casinos available to them.
Gambling: Past to Present
It might’ve taken some doing, but after a few legal snags and subsequent victories, Wyoming’s residents can partake in a few forms of gambling within state lines. But let’s take it back to the beginning. In 1901, the McGill Act completely banned gambling to protect the state’s citizens. After decades of prohibition, these laws were relaxed, and, in 1967, a pari-mutuel racing commission was established to oversee horse race betting practices. By 2010, these events had declined to a point of non-existence, but started up again in 2014, thanks to the add-on of simulcast racing and historic horse racing terminals. The year 1988 saw the Indian Gaming Regulation Act passed at Federal Level, which had the Northern Arapaho tribe turning to Wyoming’s state government to negotiate deals that would allow them to build bricks-and-mortar casinos on their land. The state wouldn’t budge, which led to more than a decade-long court battle, eventually won by the tribe. In 2005, the Federal Court granted the tribe the legal rights to offer casino games on their land in the Wind River Indian Reservation, and, in 2006, the state signed agreements with two tribes. This led to the opening of the only two legal casinos and live poker room in Wyoming. And, in 2013, the lottery was finally approved for this state.
Online Gambling & Wyoming
While it’s pretty clear where citizens can cash in on casino games at land-based facilities, the laws aren’t particularly transparent when referring to online gambling. In fact, it doesn’t reference Internet gambling at all. So it can be safely assumed that signing up at a reputable online casino, and placing your bets in this virtual space, wouldn’t get you into trouble with the law. However, operating an online casino and making a profit off players would be considered illegal. In turn, playing for free at fun play casinos, downloading social casino apps or joining mobile social casinos like Facebook casinos would most certainly not have any legal repercussions, as no money stands to be made.
Gambling Options in Wyoming
Whether you prefer to back your favourite horse, play poker with friends, go on a casino outing or visit free play online casinos on your PC or smartphone – if you’re a Wyoming resident, it’s best to know what’s legal and what’s not. We’ve outlined the dos and don’ts below:
As referred to earlier in the article, Wyoming offers two legal tribal casinos. The bricks-and-mortar casinos are run by the Arapaho and Shoshone tribes, and offer a full range of class 3 casino games, as well as poker. Since you won’t find any alcohol on these premises, the legal age to gamble here is 18.
While the law isn’t clear on Internet casinos, players can bet safely by signing up at international online casinos, operating outside of the United States. Popular virtual casinos that fit the bill include Bovada, Slots.lv, Bet Online and Ignition Casino. No operation of online casinos from within the state lines is allowed. However, the safest bet still would be to enjoy free fun online slots on Facebook casinos and other free play online casinos. With no money exchanging hands, no laws can possibly be broken.
If you love the game of poker, you have two live options available to you in Wyoming. Firstly, you can visit one of the tribal casinos that offer live poker. Or secondly, you can enjoy a social home game, permitting that you know the other players, no fees are charged and no rake is taken.
There has been no push for the regulation of online poker in Wyoming. This creates another grey area for eager players, as it’s neither deemed legal, nor clearly banned.
Sports Betting Options
Residents can make their way to the Wyoming Downs Racetrack, also offering historic race game terminals, where they can enjoy pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing events. They can also bet on simulcast events from tracks across the nation, conveniently located around the state.
Wyoming was the 44th state to approve the lottery, allowing residents to partake in multi-state games. It doesn’t, however, allow video lottery games and scratch cards due to its ‘instant gratification’ nature that could entice players to keep going till they win.
Though under strict licensing, charity gambling has been around for many years in Wyoming. Apart from bingo qualifying under this ‘banner’, residents can also legally take part in raffles and ‘casino nights’ events where limited prizes are given away.
Tips for Wyoming’s Gamblers
If you’re keen to place your bets within Wyoming’s borders – do keep the following in mind:
- If you visit one of the two tribal casinos, make sure you’re 18 or older to play.
- If you want to enjoy a social game of poker at home, you can’t ask any fees or take any rakes.
- If you want to place bets on horse racing, you can visit the Wyoming Downs Racetrack.
- If you want to gamble from home, you can sign up at an online casino, registered outside the U.S.
- If you want to place bets, but don’t want to lose any money, give fun play casinos a try – various sites will tell you how to play on Facebook casinos and other social casino apps.
Gambling might not be the first thing that springs to mind when visiting Wyoming. However, though limited, this fun form of entertainment is available to the state’s residents and visitors alike. And while certain gambling laws are in place in Wyoming, it’s good to know that it’s been done with the best interest of its citizens in mind.