The Future of Sports Betting in Wyoming

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A major decision by the U.S. Supreme Court Monday calling a 1992 law unconstitutional and making sports betting legal.

States will regulate the change and News 13's Justin Roth spoke with legislators and residents across Natrona County about how this ruling could change how we watch professional and amateur sports.

Sports competition heats up within the field of play, as well as for the spectators. We could soon be able to bet on sporting events without being in Nevada. State Senator Drew Perkins of Natrona County said,
"Wyoming has looked at that and Wyoming says that it doesn't allow gambling but there's bingo, there's poll tabs, there's historic horse racing, there's friendly card games there's lots of gambling that happens in Wyoming."

MLB, NHL, NFL, .and the NCAA all contended the law was not unconstitutional because it didn't compel states to do anything. However some legislators are not in favor of large scale gambling according to State Senator Charles Scott of Natrona County, "We don't like large scale commercial gambling there's too many people and it's a significant but not overwhelming percentage of the population that becomes compulsive and sensually risk things that you shouldn't in life and ends up in trouble."

Perkins sees it as a place to collect possible tax dollars though. "I think looking at potentially putting together a gaming commission. What is going on in Wyoming? How much gambling is happening? Is there revenue that should be coming to the state because of that. I think that is the one thing that can be looked at and I wouldn't be surprised if it was."

Scott says we may not have Major League Baseball but we do have something else. "We don't have professional sport we have rodeo and there are Calcutta now and that's a form of gambling and people do that and that will be legal cause people like to do that, but we don't have the large scale professional sports teams here."

Either way, both agree it needs to be fair. Perkins adds, "If we're going to gamble in Wyoming which we already are, we ought to make sure the games are fair and that it's regulated so that it is fair and that there is a recourse if people are cheated or if games are not on the up and up."

Monday's ruling brings the power back to the states allowing for further debate in the 2019 Legislative Session. You cannot go out and bet on sports right now. As it stands, individual states must create their own laws dealing with sports wagering.