Published: October 15, 2021

Wyoming regulator seeks to license more sports betting operators next month

The Wyoming Gaming Commission aims to expand the market by the end of the year. It anticipated brands coming into the state such as FanDuel and Penn National with its Barstool Sportsbook, to be defined during a meeting on November 5. After conversations with PointsBet, it is expected to join the market in the next six months to a year.

Wyoming’s legal sports betting launched some weeks ago, but the state’s gaming commission is already planning an expansion in the near future.

With DraftKings and BetMGM having launched on September 1 and having seen over $6 million in wagers in their first month of operation, the number of competitors is likely to increase, as David Carpenter, project manager of sports wagering for the Wyoming Gaming Commission anticipated. 

According to Wyoming Tribune Eagle, Carpenter said he “would expect at least one more operator to be approved” at the WGC’s November 5 meeting, pointing to FanDuel and Penn National Gaming’s Barstool Sportsbook. He also underscored that he has had discussions with PointsBet, which he hopes to have onboard within the next six months to a year.

Wyoming now faces a net loss for its first month of operation mainly because of the “welcome promotions” that came along with new sportsbooks launching in the state. DraftKings, for one, offered new users a $200 bonus to go along with their first deposit, while BetMGM promoted a risk-free bet of up to $1,000. Carpenter stated that he is not surprised as it seems to be the typical pattern for the first month. 

Carpenter sees competition as the right path to help the state grow revenue-wise. “From an overall sports wagering perspective, I heard a lot of talk about $450 million in total handle. Obviously, based on what we’ve discussed, we’re not going to get there. One month in, we’re at $6 million, and $450 million is a long way off”.

However, even with new competitors on the way, DraftKings plans to continue offering customers promotions, from odds boosts to free pools on topics that range from sporting events to weather, politics and reality television shows. 

In terms of sports betting trends in the state, Wyoming was no exception when it comes to the NFL season and its impact on legalized betting markets across the US. The University of Wyoming was the most bet on college football team on DraftKings, followed by Notre Dame, Alabama, Iowa and Michigan. 

Draftkings Head of Sportsbook Johnny Avello pointed out that, while Wyoming does not have a professional football team of its own, there is no reason to believe it should affect wagers in the state, and attributes it to the “diverse array of offerings” that DraftKings provides its users with. 

“It’s true that people that live within a state like to bet on the teams that reside there, but if they don’t have it, there is just so much content out there on DraftKings – whether it be pro football, college, ice hockey or all the proposition bets that follow,” Avello said.

Even though the state fell below its initial estimates during its first operational month, the WGC anticipated an increase in handle moving forward. However, the goal is to, in Carpenter’s words “become a leader, not only in the state but nationally, on the responsible gaming front”.

“I think we’re well out in front of it. We’re going to partner up with a company called Conscious Gaming and implement our self-exclusion program through what’s called PlayPause, which will create a national database where all the states are communicating about self-exclusion. Not only voluntary self-exclusion, but the involuntary type – student-athletes, coaches, things of that nature.”

The first $300,000 in sports betting revenue annually will go to the Wyoming Department of Health and be used toward gambling addiction-related services.

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