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Wyoming House Defeats, Then Passes Online-Only Sports Betting Bill

A Measure For Reconsideration Was Introduced A Day After The Bill Failed And Subsequently Passed On A Second Vote

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After initially defeating the bill, the Wyoming House of Representatives voted in favor of legislation that would legalize online sports betting in the state.

According to a report from Wyoming Public Media, several House members were skeptical of legalizing an activity that could have detrimental effects on society. One member voiced concerns over skyrocketing addictions if the bill was passed.

The concerns led to HB 133 originally being defeated by a 32-28 margin Tuesday. But Rep. Mike Yin, a Democrat who initially voted against the bill then submitted a measure for reconsideration.

Under state law, any lawmaker that votes the same way as the majority can ask for a reconsideration. When the reconsideration vote was taken, Yin and another Democrat voted for the bill, which prompted a second vote.

Just a day after the bill’s defeat, the House passed it by the same 32-28 tally. The bill now heads to the Senate where if passed, it will head to the governor’s desk.

The bill would legalize and regulate online sports betting. The Wyoming Gaming Commission would be put in charge of the new market and set the guidelines for operators to work within. It would become the second state with an online-only sports betting market, following in Tennessee’s footsteps. Georgia is also working on an online-only model.

Wyoming is a state with a very small gambling market. Until recently, the state was without a lottery and there are just a handful of tribal casinos scattered throughout the state. However, the gaming commission believes that legalizing sports betting would generate $449 million in tax revenue.