Wyoming Indian Casinos
Wyoming allows casinos in the form of Indian Casinos. These types of casinos are overseen by a federal agency known as the National Indian Wyoming Gaming Commission
Indian Gambing Laws in Wyoming
Indian gaming is comprised of two classes; Class I, Class II, and Class III gaming. Class I gaming on Indian Lands is regulated solely by the Indian Tribe. These games include social gaming with prizes of minimal value or traditional forms of gaming in connection with tribal ceremonies or celebrations.
Class II gaming, regulated by the Commission, includes games of chance, known as bingo, which is played for prizes such as monetary rewards. It also includes card games that are authorized by the state.
In these games, players play against one another. So if one player win, it means another player will lose. Games not mentioned in Class I or II, are considered to be Class III gaming.
Class II and III gaming net revenues must be used to fund tribal government operations or programs, provide for the general welfare of its tribe, promote tribal economic development, donate to charitable organizations, or fund local government agency operations.
Indian Casinos in Wyoming allow table games, bingo, and slot machines.
The legal gambling age at these casinos is 18.
Indian Gaming Regulatory Act
There are 3 different classes of gaming under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The first being class I, which is social and Indian gaming for small prizes. Tribal governments are the authorities over all class I gaming. The second is class II, which covers games of chance such as bingo (being a computer, electronic, or technological aid as long as it is used in connection to the game) punch board, pull tabs, tip jars, and any other games that are games of chance. This class also covers non-banked card games.
Non-banked card games are games played against other players other than against a dealer for the house. Slot machines and electronic facsimiles are not included in the act though. Tribal governments regulate class II gaming with oversight from the commission. The third class is class III and is the broadest of all the classes, as it covers all the games that are not included in class I or II. Such games would be slots, wagering games, electronic facsimiles, along with table games like craps, blackjack, and roulette. Tribal authority is restricted as a compromise since it is so broad in what it covers.
Charitable Gaming in Wyoming
Non-profit organizations in Wyoming with a tax exempt certificate are allowed to conduct gaming for profit. Legal types of gaming for these organizations are raffles, bingo, or pull tabs. The tickets must be sold within the state.
Pari-mutuel wagering in Wyoming
The Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission is in charge of overseeing all aspects of Pari-Mutuel wagering. All persons wishing to make a pari-mutuel wager must be 18 years of age. It is illegal for anyone to bribe anyone involved in racing or betting and is punishable by imprisonment up to five years and/or a fine of no more than $5,000.
Any individual or organization conducting a pari-mutuel system without a licensed permit can be fined up to $10,000 and/or spend up to 6 months in prison.
There is no state lottery in Wyoming; however numerous residents have won in other states’ lotteries. In February 2007, the House voted 31-27 against a bill that would introduce a state lottery. The bill would cost $1 million to implement and was only estimated to bring in proceeds of $1 million annually.
One part of the bill that was problematic for some residents was that the first $5 million would be given to the Wyoming Game and Fish Department. Other protests were about financial effects it would have on the state.
Wyoming Gambling Interests
Some people believed it would hurt the Wyoming horse-racing tradition and there was a concern that the Indian Casinos may suffer in competition with the state lottery. Therefore, horse track owners and Indian casino tribes were placed in the interesting position of warning against the dangers of gambling addiction. Gambling addiction was also cited as one of the reasons for voting against the bill. It is believed by some that a state-wide lottery would be appealing to low-income residents, which could cause gambling addiction. The Bible was used to dissuade votes on the bill as well. All of these reasons, combined, caused a state-lottery bill to be thrown out a seventh time.