Wyoming Online Poker / Gambling Laws
Despite a small population, Wyoming still contributes a fair share of players to the global online poker pool. Online poker has proven quite popular across all U.S. states, and online poker in Wyoming doesn't appear to be bucking that trend. In fact, that's probably why you're here - you're from Wyoming and you want to learn more about playing real money poker online. We've got those answers, plus the bigger story of gambling in the state, in this Wyoming Players' Guide to Online Poker.
Playing Online Poker in Wyoming
Online Poker Sites for Wyoming: Staff Picks
What are the best poker sites for players from Wyoming? How can poker players ensure they're playing on legitimate, legally regulated sites that offer them fair games in a secure environment? We try to take as much of the mystery out of the process as possible with our staff picks for Wyoming's best online poker rooms. All of the real money sites on this list hold legally issued licenses, have a track record of honest dealings with players and - of course - provide excellent value through bonuses and promotions:
How to Play Poker Online From Wyoming
There are a few states in America - such as Washington - where it's extremely difficult to get online and play real-money poker. In Wyoming, however, few hurdles stand between you and stacking fish at the online tables. Choose one of the sites that we've picked above for players from Wyoming and you'll be logged in, betting and raising in just a matter of minutes. Wyoming poker players enjoy a number of simple deposit options that typically include major credit cards and cash transfer services.
Is Playing Online Poker Legal in Wyoming?
You'll find a lot of websites that proffer definitive answers to questions like these. We are not one of those websites. Legal advice is a serious matter that is best left to the professionals.
However, we also understand that you may just be seeking some basic, factual information about Wyoming gambling law. That we can help with. Below we've excerpted some of the key points of Wyoming statute dealing with gambling.
The place to start with state law is always the definition of "gambling." In Wyoming's case, we're looking at a very broad definition that potentially includes a wide swath of activity: "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 a risk has no control" (Section 6-7-101(iii)).
This definition differs from some other states by appearing to set the gambling brightline at any chance whatsoever via the phrase "in whole or in part upon lot, chance." Many other states in the U.S. require chance to play a significant, or even a dominant, role for an activity to be defined as gambling.
The definition of gambling continues on to exclude social gambling, certain forms of charitable gambling, select types of bingo and a variety of other games and activities either overseen or otherwise permitted by Wyoming.
Participating in illegal gambling is a crime in Wyoming (Section 6-7-102). Not all states criminalize the act of playing in an illegal gambling game, but in Wyoming it is a misdemeanor to do so. The law also allows for the seizure and disposal of "any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment" involved in illegal gambling (Section 6-7-104).
Operators face a single charge in Wyoming: professional gambling (Section 6-7-102(b)), a felony that comes with up to three years jail time.
To further your understanding, here's a link to the online version of the Wyoming state code.
Is Wyoming Planning to Regulate Online Poker?
Wyoming seems like an unlikely home for regulated poker, at least in the foreseeable future. There hasn't been any public or legislative push to regulate any forms of online gambling, and regulated gambling in general simply isn't a priority for the government of Wyoming. That set of conditions suggests that online poker players from Wyoming have a long wait ahead before state-regulated and licensed games will be available to them.
Wyoming Gambling Facts
What are the Regulated Gambling Options in Wyoming?
What you will find in Wyoming: tribal casinos, charitable gambling (in the form of raffles and games of bingo) and pari-mutuel betting. What you won't find on Wyoming's regulated gambling menu: commercial casinos or - somewhat uniquely in the United States - a state lottery.
One form of gambling allowed in Wyoming but not directly regulated by the state is social gambling activity. As long as no one is profiting from the operation of the activity and everyone involved has a genuine relationship, the activity is exempt from Wyoming gambling law.
What About Wyoming-Regulated Online Betting?
In the status quo there are no forms of online gambling regulated by the state of Wyoming. As noted in our earlier analysis, this state of affairs seems set to continue unabated into the future; the state and its residents have both shown little interest in moving Wyoming government into the business of issuing online gambling licenses.
Recent Wyoming Gambling News and Developments
The record-breaking Powerball jackpot of November 2012 caused a bit of talk in the Wyoming media about whether or not it was finally time to bring the lottery to the state. Otherwise, there has been little in the way of gambling or poker-related headlines emerging from Wyoming.
Wyoming Gambling Research Resources
NCPG Wyoming Fact Sheet. Get the breakdown of the financial impacts, and costs, of gambling in Wyoming with this fact sheet from the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Wyoming Gambling Initiatives. Track attempts to establish or expand gambling in Wyoming with this page from BallotPedia.
Wind River Hotel Casino. The largest gambling facility in the state of Wyoming. Learn more about the casino and the Northern Arapaho Tribe, owners of the Wind River.