By Joshua Wood, tourism/business reporter
Place your bets!
Wyoming residents now have another option for online sports wagering. The Caesars Sportsbook app recently went live in the Cowboy State.
It is the fourth such app to come into Wyoming, but it won’t be the last according to a Wyoming Gaming Commission member. DraftKings, BetMGM and FanDuel are already in the state.
The announcement of Caesars’ expansion into Wyoming was made Tuesday but the app has been live since early June, said David Carpenter. Carpenter is the Wyoming Gaming Commission’s project manager for online sports wagering and skills games.
Online sports wagering was officially legalized by the Wyoming Legislature in September 2021. By February, nearly 30,000 Wyoming residents had wagered $76 million.
The same law which legalized online sports wagering in the state also set a 1% tax on all bets. The first $300,000 generated in revenue was to go to the Wyoming Department of Health to combat gambling addictions. Afterwards, revenue will go to the state’s general fund.
A 1992 law prohibited states from legalizing sports gambling but that law was overturned in May 2018 by the Supreme Court. Since then, more than 30 states and Washington, D.C. have some form of legal sports betting.
The same report said sports betting in the United States generated $31.6 billion in the first 10 months of 2021, a 230% increase from the same time period in 2020.
“We’re obviously a small market in terms of population but I know they’re (Caesars) excited to be here,” said Carpenter. “We have a very wide open market here.”
Carpenter told Cowboy State Daily he had already received revenue reports from Caesars for the month of June.
“There seems to be a pretty strong correlation between the timing of entry into the market (and revenue),” said Carpenter. “DraftKings and BetMGM have the strongest market share right now. It’s kind of a strange time of year where there’s midseason baseball and there’s not a lot of other things going on quite yet.”
Carpenter expects Caesars’ market share to pick up as football season arrives. By that time, there will likely be two more online sports wagering apps added to the roster. Both PointsBet and Barstool are permitted to operate in Wyoming but haven’t yet taken their apps live.
This will bring the total of online sports wagering apps to six before the end of this year. Carpenter believes there will be 10 by the beginning of 2023. It’s a sign of positive growth for the industry.
“One of the goals is to regulate a space that was operating in the state of Wyoming illegally prior to that,” said Carpenter. “To be able to capture that and regulate it in a legal market is a positive situation.”
Carpenter said he is always looking to bring new contests into the Wyoming market.
“Just the other day I just happened to be flipping through the channels and came across a sport called teqball. It’s kind of this bizarre sport,” said Carpenter. “It’s played with a soccer ball but it looks and feels like pingpong mixed with some rules from volleyball.”
After doing some research, Carpenter approved teqball as a new market in online sports wagering in Wyoming.
“Every day we’re opening up new markets,” said Carpenter.