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House Reverses Course And Approves Sports Betting

Bob Beck

Update: Following a reconsideration vote, the Wyoming House of Representatives has reversed course and voted to pass a bill regulating online sports betting. The bill would legalize the activity and provide revenue to the state.  The Wyoming Gaming Commission would oversee all operations and develop rules.  The bill now heads to the Senate for further debate.

3/10/21: A bill intended to regulate the online sports betting industry in Wyoming was defeated by the Wyoming House of Representatives.

The bill failed after several representatives feared that the state was sanctioning something that would lead to problems, including social costs. Afton Representative Evan Simpson said while it seems like a fun activity, it has a serious downside.

"This particular fun activity has the potential of destroying a lot of lives. Addictions are real and they will happen in our society if we pass this bill," said Simpson.

Cheyenne Representative Jared Olsen argued that regulation of sports betting would be a good thing.

"It's already happening, so you have the opportunity to regulate it and craft the framework around what works and doesn't work," said Olsen. "To protect the citizens of Wyoming without telling them the choices they can and cannot make,t's setting parameters that keeps consumers safe."

The bill would have likely generated millions through license fees. The measure failed on a close vote.

Bob Beck retired from Wyoming Public Media after serving as News Director of Wyoming Public Radio for 34 years. During his time as News Director WPR has won over 100 national, regional and state news awards.
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