Wyoming Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

Despite its nickname, the “Cowboy State” and its common connection with cowboy culture – boots, hats, and saloons, which is often associated with gambling, Wyoming offers limited gambling activities. This is because it’s one of the states that still upholds a strict viewpoint on gambling, thereby offering its modern-day enthusiasts limited options.

At the moment, Wyoming allows the following forms of gambling: tribal casinos, pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing, historical horse racing video terminals, state lottery, and charitable gaming.

In recent months, there have been pushes to include online sports wagering into the list of legal forms of gambling, which might also pave the way for commercial casino gaming, among other things.

In this article, we are going to tell you more about the legal status of gambling in Wyoming, what forms of gambling are at your disposal, and where you can play your favorite games.

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Gambling Laws in Wyoming — The Law Overview

All gambling laws and regulations are described in the Wyoming Statutes, mostly chapters 6-7-101 et seq. and 11-25-101 et seq. Chapter 6 describes gambling as “risking any property for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control.”

Under this chapter, we can see that bona fide transactions, pull-tabs, bingo games, Calcutta wagering, and other charitable gaming options are not listed under gambling. Charitable, religious, veteran, and other non-profit organizations can host these games. Under the gaming law, 75% of all proceeds are required to go to a charity cause or organizations, while at least sixty-five percent (65%) of all gross sales shall be redeemed as winnings each month.

The first major shift in the gambling laws of Wyoming came after the Indian Regulatory Act that allowed tribal casinos was enacted on a federal level in 1988. The Northern Arapaho Tribe was the first one to try and get the state of Wyoming to sign a compact. Wyoming resisted signing until the Federal Court ruled in the tribe’s favor, which led to the establishment of the first tribal casino in Wyoming. Tribal casinos are allowed to offer Class III casino games that include poker, blackjack, roulette, and slot machines.

The next momentous year in the Wyoming gaming legislation was 2013 when Wyoming became the 44th state to allow the state lottery. Under House Bill 77, the Wyoming Lottery was created. The first $6 million in proceeds will go to the state treasury, while the next $6 million will be redirected to the universal education system’s account.

That very same year happened another important shift in the gambling legislation when the so-called historical racing machines were allowed under Chapter 21, Title 11 of the Wyoming Statutes. In essence, these machines are slots that will enable players to engage in pari-mutuel wagering on the outcomes of real past races. The taxes imposed on the revenues of these machines are set at 25%, which means the state and local coffers get a substantial boost every year.

Speaking of horse racing, both live and simulcast wagering on horse racing is allowed in Wyoming and regulated under the Pari-Mutuel Commission, as are historical racing machines.

In recent years, there have been many attempts to take gambling on the next level with the establishment of the Wyoming Gaming Commission on the foundations of the Pari-Mutuel Commission. This new gaming commission will oversee all forms of gambling and also work on including new forms of gambling, like the legalization of sports wagering under the House Bill 0225.

Engaging in illegal forms of gambling is classified as a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both. On the other hand, if you gamble professionally, you will be charged with a felony punishable by no more than three (3) years imprisonment, a fine of not more than three thousand dollars ($3,000.00), or both.

The minimum legal gambling age is 18.

What Forms of Gambling are Allowed in Wyoming?

The only allowed casino-style gambling takes place in one of the four tribal casinos run by the Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe. Under the conditions of the compact, these casinos can offer Class III casino games like slot machines, tables games, and live poker.

The Wyoming state lottery is another form of licensed gambling in Wyoming. Unlike other state lotteries, the Wyoming lottery mostly supports interstate lottery draws like Mega Millions and Powerball, with the only Cowboy Draw as the local lottery draw. Unfortunately, there are no keno, raffles, or any other games on offer. Over 400 retailers sell tickets for the draws all across Wyoming, so you won’t have any problems finding one.

Pari-mutuel wagering takes place on three live racetracks in Wyoming: Energy Downs Cam-Plex, Sweetwater Events Complex, and Wyoming Downs Racetrack. Here, you can wager on live and off-track simulcast betting. You can also find dozens of historical racing machines at these venues that can offer substantial jackpots if your bets prove successful.

Charitable gaming includes wagering on bingo, raffles, and pull tabs hosted by charity organizations and non-profit societies. Calcutta wagering on outcomes of amateur contests, cutter horse racing, dog sled racing, professional rodeo events, or professional golf tournaments is also allowed and run by these charity organizations.

The gambling laws in Wyoming do not clearly specify that online gambling is either legal or illegal. The only clear distinction in online gambling legislation refers to the off-track betting on horse racing that is deemed entirely legal.

However, some gambling definitions in the law seem not to differentiate between land and online gambling, just like in the description of a gambling device where the gambling devices are seen as “any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment except an antique gambling device that is used or usable in the playing phases of any professional gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine.“

According to this definition, your phone, tablet, and PC can be considered illegal and a part of a professional gambling activity punishable by law.

However, this is all seen as directed more towards the gaming providers, rather than individuals wanting to play in online casinos. No law says that you can’t play at offshore casinos which accept Wyoming residents.

Where to Gamble in Wyoming?

Gambling facilities in Wyoming are to be found on tribal land where tribal casinos offer numerous slot machines, poker, and blackjack tables, among other things. We have highlighted the most frequented tribal casinos in Wyoming and the ones which provide the best casino games, so take a closer look.

The Wind River Hotel and Casino

The Wind River Hotel and Casino is the largest gaming facility in all of Wyoming with over 800 slots and 10 table games with the best live poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps games. The slot machines go from penny slots to $25 machines and even include progressive jackpots that go beyond $50,000 in cash prizes. The Wind River Hotel and Casino started as a small bingo hall run by the Northern Arapaho Tribe and later evolved into a casino resort with a 90-room hotel, two restaurants, and a couple of cafe bars. The casino is located two miles south of Riverton, Wyoming, on Hwy. 789 and is open 24/7 for your full casino enjoyment.

Shoshone Rose

The Shoshone Rose Hotel and Casino is run by the Eastern Shoshone Tribe and represents one of Wyoming’s top casino destinations. With over 300 slot machines in their offer which range from classic slots to new editions, their gaming offer has it all. Moreover, to make sure you have a comfortable and relaxing stay, their hotel will welcome you to one of their 60 rooms that exude luxury and style at affordable prices. If you crave a memorable dining experience, you can visit the Deka-Guy Hee restaurant (Shoshone for “The Eating House”), where you can indulge in famous Indian tacos or customer favorites like the Jack Daniels Burger. The exact location of the casino is 180 Red Wolf Place Dr, Riverton, WY 82501, and is open 24/7.


Are there casinos in Wyoming?

Wyoming is home to four tribal casinos where you can play Class III casino games like slots, blackjack, and poker.

What is the minimum gambling age in Wyoming?

The minimum gambling age in Wyoming is 18.

Is online gambling legal in Wyoming?

The only legal form of online gambling mentioned explicitly in the law is off-track betting on horse racing. However, no provision of the law prohibits players from accessing offshore online casinos, and no one has ever been persecuted for doing so.

Is there a state lottery in Wyoming?

Yes, there is. The state lottery in Wyoming only offers lottery draws, and the majority of these lotteries are interstate lotteries with vast jackpots.

Is poker legal in Wyoming?

Yes, it is. You can participate in live poker games and tournaments in all tribal casinos.