With a framework for regulations around statewide mobile sports betting nearly complete, the Wyoming Gaming Commission has announced that it will open the application process for operators Thursday with an eye toward having live wagering early in the NFL season.
Gaming chief Charlie Moore said Friday that applications will be available on the WGC website, along with “directives” about everything from the licensing process and integrity monitoring to the state’s wagering catalog. When the process opens, it will mark the second jurisdiction to begin accepting applications among nine that are now in the regulatory process. (Regulators in Florida and Connecticut aren’t formally working on rules as they await compact approval from the Department of the Interior.) South Dakota is ahead of Wyoming, with Arizona expected to begin taking applications in the next month.
Moore also shared that national operators Barstool Sports, BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel have submitted formal letters of intent to apply, and he mentioned SuperBook Sports as another potential operator. SuperBook Sports went live in January with its mobile app in Colorado, its first outside of Nevada.
Draft rules now open for public comment
Wyoming is the second state to legalize digital-only sports betting. Tennessee became the first when it legalized on July 1, 2019, before launching its first four operators on Nov. 1, 2020. Unlike Tennessee, Wyoming has gaming tribes, and the four will be able to offer retail wagering at their locations under the new law. The statute requires that a minimum of five digital platforms be live in the state, and it does not set a cap.
Wyoming regulators drafted and redrafted sports betting rules four times with stakeholder input before a final draft was sent to Gov. Mark Gordon Friday. A 45-day public-comment period is now open. Forty-five days from July 9 (including weekends) is Aug. 23. The expectation is that the rules will be finalized at the next WGC meeting, which is scheduled for Sept. 3, although it will likely be moved up a week to avoid the Labor Day weekend and accommodate approving the rules in timely fashion.
The initial goal was for Wyoming to launch operators on Sept. 1. Regulators have been working on an aggressive timeline since sports betting was legalized on April 5. Only two states that passed sports betting legislation have gone from legal to live in five months or less — Indiana and Iowa.