Wyoming Online Poker Laws
Last Updated February 20, 2020
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
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 poker 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.
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 WY online poker 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.
|State Code Section(s)||6.7.101-104; 11.25|
|Definition of Gambling||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.|
|Definition of Gambling Device||Any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment except an antique gambling device that is used or usable in the playing phases of any professional gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine.|
|Definition of Professional Gambling||Aiding or inducing another to engage in gambling, with the intent to derive a profit therefrom; or participating in gambling and having, other than by virtue of skill or luck, a lesser chance of losing or a greater chance of winning than one or more of the other participants.|
|Online Poker/Gambling||No lawmakers have proposed any legislation related to the legalization of online poker or casino games.|
|Live Poker||There are very small poker rooms in two of the four casinos in Wyoming, and limited cash games are available.|
|Casinos||Two Native American tribes completed gaming compacts with the state to open casinos, of which there are now four. The small establishments offer limited gaming but some have table games in addition to slot machines.|
|Sports Betting||Wyoming lawmakers have taken an interest in legalizing sports betting in 2020.|
|DFS||Wyoming is one of the few states that have not addressed any type of daily fantasy sports legislation.|
|Other Forms of Gambling||Horse and dog racing, pari-mutuel betting, lottery, Calcutta wagering, bingo and pull-tabs via charitable gambling.|
Latest Updates from Wyoming’s Gambling Expansion Efforts
Wyoming is not exactly at the forefront of gambling opportunities in the United States. There are a fair amount of horseracing tracks and betting locations in the state, but there are only four small casino-style establishments, all of them located on the Wind River Reservation. Only one (Wind River Hotel & Casino) offers a sizeable number of table games and poker tables in addition to their slot machines.
In 2019, lawmakers began to consider new gambling options for Wyoming, not only for revenue but for additional tourist attractions. This led to the beginning of February in 2020, when five gambling-related bills were proposed in the legislature.
The bill of note was HB.153, which intended to designate contests of skill as those between not fewer than two live contestants, contests of skill, speed, strength or endurance. This could have easily included poker and expanded poker options across the state in the future as well as online. Other bills related to creating a Wyoming Gaming Commission to regulate more forms of gambling in the state as well as HB.225 to authorize online sports wagering.
As the 2020 legislative session moves forward, Wyoming legislators will consider if their state will expand gambling options and, if so, by how much.
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.
Is Wyoming Planning to Regulate Online Poker?
In the past, no form of gambling expansion was a priority for the Wyoming state government. While recent developments indicate that many of them see some forms of expansion as inevitable, it is unclear where online poker would fit into any equation. The 2020 consideration of online sports wagering and the desire for some legislators to designate games of skill as separate from other forms of gambling are hopeful signs. Even so, it seems that state-regulated online poker is likely many years into the future.
All Poker and Gambling Laws by State
- December 22nd, 2016
The Wyoming Lottery Corporation lawsuit against Edward Atchison was criticized by a lawyer involved in the case. Edward Atchison is a Cheyenne resident who stands accused of defaming the lottery. Atchison’s lawyer described the lawsuit as lacking in details and possibly unconstitutional. The Wyoming Lottery Corporation was founded by anRead Full
Wyoming Gambling Facts
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?
There are currently no forms of online gambling regulated by the state of Wyoming. However, the introduction of legislation in 2020 shows that lawmakers may be prepared to consider it, at least in the form of sports betting. And the state’s willingness to consider a Wyoming Gaming Commission indicates that there could be more steps in the future toward online gambling and betting.
Top-Earning Poker Players from Wyoming
As most would suspect, Wyoming is not exactly a hub for professional poker players. There aren’t even many poker rooms available in neighboring states, with the notable exception of a few casinos in Colorado to the south of Wyoming.
Even so, some poker players hailing from Wyoming have impressive amounts of live tournament poker earnings to their credit. Most of them got their start and honed their skills via online poker.
Here are the top 10 of them, according to the Hendon Mob Database as of 2020:
1. Richard Dixon ($852K)
2. Jeff Heiberg ($408K)
3. Michael Harris (367K)
4. Gary Germann ($302K)
5. Ryan Remington ($223K)
6. John Alm ($170K)
7. Rosie Paules (127K)
8. Erik Macias ($87K)
9. Sam Britton ($84K)
10. Sergio Mireles ($67K)