Talking about population, Wyoming has the smallest population in the nation. There are just around 570,000 residents in the state. On the opposing side of the board, the state is actually ranked tenth in the nation as far as the area in square miles. Wyoming has 97,000 square miles of amazing scenery here.
Wyoming has a wonderful gaming presence where players will have more gaming here than most of the other states, even if the state is not a very progressive one in what concerns gaming, having only adopted recently ideas already in practice on other states for decades now, namely the state lottery that is legal only since 2013, and the fight the state put up against tribal casinos.
There is a recent intention to review the gaming industry in the state, namely establishing a gaming commission to regulate the sector, both online and offline, but so far no legislation or commissions are established.
Types of Gambling Found in Wyoming
Analyzing the types of gambling that are legal in Wyoming we find tribal casinos, the lottery, charity bingo and raffles, considering player are 18 or above. There are just 13 states where there is not a lottery, each for their own reasons, being that most of the reasons include the fact that the lottery is a distraction from the existing land based casinos. Wyoming was one of these states until recently, as in 2013 a new law approved it.
Wyoming also offers horse racing, and there are two horse racing tracks available, Wyoming Downs and Sweetwater Downs, where the wagering is made through Parimutuel. Parimutuel betting is offered to players at 18 and over for those who like to make live bets on horses and dogs, but off-track betting parlors also exist around the state.
Land based casinos in Wyoming are few and far between, and players are able to enter also at 18. Players of these casinos will have slots, table games, card games and scratchers. There are four tribal casinos: Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel, Little Wind Casino, 789 Smokeshop & Casino and Wind River Hotel & Casino, the first to be built and the largest one.
Getting these four approved was no easy task though, as to get the Wind River Hotel & Casino approved the Northern Arapaho Tribe had to take the state to the federal court, so that the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was respected. The arguments used concerned the allowing of charitable gaming in Wyoming, and in 2005 the court agreed with the tribe against the Wyoming state.
With the court approval, the Northern Arapaho Tribe bingo was transformed in the largest casino in the state with over 800 gaming machines, against the 400 from the Shoshone Rose Casino, 200 from the 789 Casino and the 183 from the Little Wind Casino.
Wyoming State was against the Wind River casino opening, and this meant revenue sharing wasn’t agreed, something that didn’t happen with the Shoshone Rose Casino, as they negotiated a deal with the Eastern Shoshone Tribe.
Wind River Hotel & Casino
The Wind River Hotel & Casino receives a special highlight because it’s the biggest gaming establishment in Wyoming. Just at the south of Riverton, it’s an operation with already 20 years and that is the largest employer of Freemont County, employing 700 people distributed around gaming (800 slots, 10 live table games, live poker room), and the hotel (90 rooms, two restaurants, cafe and bar).
Its growth is certainly associated with the ongoing promotions, rewards program, jackpots, blackjack, roulette, regular poker tournaments with no-limit, but also video slots, video poker and slots ranging from $25 machines to penny slots. A wide gaming offer and a quality hotel make Wind River the gambling reference of Wyoming.
Similarly to what happens in most US states, it’s not legal for casinos to operate in Wyoming, even if Wyoming players can access offshore casinos, action falling in a legal gray area, as gambling is considered illegal if not on legal operations and tribal casinos. An interpretation of this law is that playing on the sites is against the law.
Curiosity: One of the laws pertaining to gambling in Wyoming is that players are actually eligible to be professional gamblers where in most states this is illegal.