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Legislation

The sports betting bill was signed into law by the governor of Kentucky after receiving approval from the Senate

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In February, Michael Meredith introduced the bill which has now been signed into law as HB551.

Governor Andy Beshear signed House Bill 551 into law on Friday, legalizing sports betting in Kentucky after it received approval from the state Senate. The bill was introduced in February by representative Michael Meredith and allows for retail and online betting on professional and college sports, international sports, e-sports, and video game events. The market will be regulated by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and the minimum age for betting will be 18.

Under HB 551, the nine horse racing tracks in Kentucky will be eligible for sports betting licenses, with the ability to open in-person sportsbooks and partner with up to three online sports betting operators. Initial license fees will be set at $500,000 for tracks and $50,000 for gaming providers. In-person sports betting revenue will be taxed at 9.75%, while online revenue will be taxed at 14.25%.


Jerome, a valuable addition to the Gamingo.News team, brings with him extensive journalistic experience in the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry was sparked during his college years when he participated in local poker tournaments, eventually leading to his exposure to the burgeoning world of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now utilizes his accumulated knowledge to fuel his passion for journalism, providing the team with the latest online scoops.

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Legislation

Wyoming Legislators Reject Online Casino Bill During Legislative Session

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A Setback for iGaming Advocates

In a recent turn of events that caught the attention of both proponents and opponents of online gambling, Wyoming’s legislative body has decided against considering the legalization of online casinos during its current session. This decision came to light following a House vote that saw the proposal—House Bill 120—fall short of the required support. With representatives voting 25 in favor, 36 against, and one abstaining, the bill needed at least 42 votes to move forward, a threshold it failed to meet. This outcome has significant implications for the state’s gambling landscape and its approach to regulating digital gaming platforms.

Understanding House Bill 120: The Proposal on the Table

Sponsored by Representatives Jon Conrad, Robert Davis, and other lawmakers, House Bill 120 aimed to authorize the Wyoming Gaming Commission to issue up to five interactive gaming operator permits. This legislation was viewed by its proponents as a critical step toward regulating the burgeoning online casino market within the state. Ahead of the vote, Representative Davis highlighted the bill’s potential to combat the illegal iGaming market, emphasizing the lack of protections for Wyoming citizens engaged in unregulated online gaming activities. The proposed framework sought not only to introduce regulatory safeguards but also to mirror the successful rollout of sports wagering in the state.

The Economic Implications: A Missed Financial Opportunity

The rejection of House Bill 120 represents a missed opportunity for Wyoming to tap into a new revenue stream through the online casino market. The legislation had outlined an initial permit fee of $100,000 for operators, a significant sum that hinted at the financial potential of a regulated iGaming industry. Beyond the initial licensing fees, the state stood to gain from ongoing taxation of online casino revenues, a model that has proven lucrative for other states with regulated iGaming markets. This financial aspect underscores the broader economic implications of the bill’s rejection, including the potential for job creation and increased funding for public services.

The Social Dimension: Protecting Players in a Digital Age

Beyond the financial considerations, House Bill 120 addressed critical social issues related to online gambling. The emphasis on “installing guardrails” for digital gaming platforms was not merely regulatory rhetoric; it was a recognition of the need to protect players in an increasingly digital gambling environment. The bill’s proponents argued that regulation would offer safeguards against problem gambling, ensure fair play, and provide a mechanism for addressing disputes—benefits that remain unattainable in the absence of legal oversight. This protective aspect of the legislation highlights the evolving challenges of ensuring player safety in the digital realm.

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Comparative Analysis: Wyoming in the National Context

Wyoming’s decision to sideline the online casino bill places it in contrast with several other states that have embraced regulated iGaming as a means to enhance consumer protection and boost state revenues. This divergence raises questions about the state’s strategic priorities and its stance on gambling regulation. While opponents of online gambling often cite concerns about problem gambling and social costs, the experiences of states with regulated markets suggest that comprehensive regulatory frameworks can mitigate these risks while securing economic benefits.

Looking Forward: The Path Ahead for Wyoming

The rejection of House Bill 120 is not the final word on the matter of online casinos in Wyoming. As the digital gambling landscape continues to evolve, the pressures and incentives for states to reconsider their positions on iGaming legislation are likely to increase. Future legislative sessions may provide new opportunities for revisiting the issue, particularly as more data becomes available on the impact of regulated online casinos in other jurisdictions. For Wyoming, the path ahead involves balancing the potential economic gains of iGaming with the social responsibilities of safeguarding its citizens in the digital age.

In conclusion, while Wyoming’s legislative decision marks a pause in the state’s exploration of regulated online casinos, it also opens the door for ongoing dialogue and reevaluation. As the debate over online gambling regulation continues both within Wyoming and across the United States, the experiences of states that have navigated this complex terrain will undoubtedly inform future discussions and decisions. The challenge for Wyoming and other states remains to craft policies that address the realities of digital gambling while promoting economic development, protecting players, and ensuring the integrity of the gaming industry.

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