WYOMING — The Senate Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources Committee voted to move Senate File 109, Wyoming gaming commission-board member, to the Wyoming Senate floor this week.
The bill would prevent Wyoming Gaming Commission officials and staff from engaging in gaming activities while regulating them, a common industry standard imposed in other states.
Teton County Senator Mike Gierau sits on the Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources Committee and voted in favor of the bill.
“Ensuring integrity and fairness is critical to the credibility of Wyoming’s gaming industry,” said Laramie County Senator Affie Ellis, who is sponsoring the bill. “That integrity is called into question when gaming commissioners are allowed to benefit off the games and activities they regulate.”
For decades, gambling was generally prohibited in Wyoming. However, Wyoming established the Pari-Mutuel Commission in 1967 to authorize activities such as live horse racing.
In 2013, the Legislature allowed the commission to regulate the use of gaming machines, often referred to as “historic horse racing machines,” to find a revenue stream that would help support the continuation of live horse racing. In 2020, the Legislature transformed the Pari-Mutuel Commission into the Gaming Commission and assigned the commission to regulate online sports wagering and “skill-based amusement games” commonly found in truck stops, bars and restaurants.
The Wyoming Lottery Corporation prohibits its staff and board members from playing any lottery games and the Wyoming Public Service Commission prohibits its commissioners from receiving any financial benefit from a public utility.
The bill will head to the Senate floor for further consideration.