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Gambling Commission Keeps Revisiting Wyoming Casino Proposal

casinos in wyoming gambling commission

When it comes to casinos in Wyoming, it seems that the State’s Gambling Commission continues to revisit the proposal. Indeed, It was quite a reversal of field. In a meeting of the state of Wyoming’s Joint Committee of Travel, Recreation and Cultural Resources, it was decided that any proposals for a commission to regulate gaming statewide would be shelved. But then just recently, lawmakers thought better of it, and will push the issue.

The only question now is which state agency will handle the responsibility, or will a new agency have to be created from scratch.

State Senator Ogden Driskill is leading the charge; his idea is for the Pari-Mutuel Commission, which already exists, to take on the authority for regulation on a statewide basis.

Why Does The Gambling Commission Keep Revisiting Casinos In Wyoming Proposal?

Of course, you can imagine that there is opposition to this. After all, unless the plan is for only pari-mutuel establishments to get licenses – which does not appear to be the case – the state could put entrants in one industry in a position where they are regulating their competitors, in the respect that casino games would certainly offer a form of competition for other forms of wagering.

So the idea is still in the embryonic stages.

And naturally, there is also the other problem that if the Pari-Mutuel Commission were to take on the additional responsibilities in its present form, they would not necessarily have the expertise required to oversee other forms of gaming, which would probably include sports betting.

There is a companion idea as well – to allow the local municipalities to regulate ALL gaming in their area, rather than just select games such as bingo or pull tabs.

And what Driskill is saying is that in order to facilitate this local involvement, there needs to be what he terms “an overarching framework” to create some guidelines for what is going to be legal and illegal in the state. “The courts are regulating for us,” he said. “This is our chance to choose what we want to allow and what we don’t.”

Hundreds Of Unregulated Slot Machines At Wyoming Casino Resorts?

Wyoming reportedly has hundreds of unregulated gaming devices operating right now. It is literally like the Wild Wild West. There is very little that is well-defined about the state’s gambling laws. Any game involving wagering that is termed to be part of a “social gathering” is not unlawful (we are making the assumption that poker fits into this category). But what is a “social gathering”? It could mean almost anything. And what Driskill is suggesting is that the boundaries be set.

There are currently four casinos in Wyoming that are run by Indian tribes – the Wind River Hotel and Casino, Little Wind Casino, the 789 Casino, and the Shoshone Rose Casino. But that is not a “cash cow” for the state.

David Miller, a member of the statehouse, believes that the technology has evolved to the point where it would be very complex for the state to try and get a handle on it with regulation.

Driskill is trying to take a more forward-looking approach, in the sense that he understands that there will be for-profit entities interested in exploiting the nebulous laws, perhaps coming from out of state and that sports betting has the potential to be a genuine money-maker for Wyoming. So his rationale is that the time to act is now.