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 Wyoming Casinos & Gambling 

Gambling in the State of Wyoming

At the present time, there are no casinos existing in the state of Wyoming. Wyoming gambling laws forbid anyone from partaking in the act of gambling, be it professional gambling or otherwise, and the state further imposes strict fines for any infractions committed. The mere practice of gambling in Wyoming can result in a 750 dollar fine. Furthermore, the practice of professional gambling is regarded as a felony crime in the state of Wyoming. As a consequence, the practice of professional gambling can result in an individual receiving a fine of up to $3,000 and a term of imprisonment of up to three years. So no Wyoming Casinos?

According to Wyoming law, if any individual is found in possession of any type of gaming device, such device is subject to seizure by local authorities. In reality, the only kind of gaming device that residents of Wyoming can lawfully have possession of are those that can be considered or classified as antique: gaming devices that are at least 25 years of age and are used solely for the purposes of display or for the personal entertainment of the owner. Thus, at the present time, the only place gaming machines can be legally found are in the private homes of individuals, in a local museum, or in the possession of a non-profit or charitable organization.

Wyoming law does not view valid contests, pull tabs, or raffles as a form of gambling, however, any and all ticket sales are solely restricted to the boundaries of the state. At the present time, the only groups that can benefit from any type of gambling or games like Bingo, raffles or pull tabs are authentic non-profit organizations or groups who manage charitable organizations. Finally, such organizations are required to donate a minimum of ten percent of all proceeds to a charitable cause within one year from the time that any revenue is received.

On the other hand, such laws have not prevented the members of the general public in Wyoming from attempting to make the ownership of casinos a lawful enterprise. Additionally, the residents of Wyoming consistently challenge the state's existing laws for change. At present however, the tug-of-war between existing laws and those residents that desire change continues.

In January 2005, electronic Bingo machines were closed downed because they are viewed as gambling devices and as pointed out previously, gambling devices are not permitted in the State of Wyoming unless they are for display purposes. Similar incidents have occurred when several of Wyoming's residents were fined for playing a popular table game for money at a local bowling alley. Not only has the state of Wyoming established firm laws prohibiting gambling, but when it comes to the enforcement of such laws the state's officials take any and all infractions seriously.

Still, many of Wyoming’s residents are persistent and insist that the legalization of gambling can only benefit the state. In May 2005, certain reputable groups brought electronic bingo back into effect by utilizing machines and then further conformed to judicial rulings by donating the proper proceeds to charitable causes. The groups responsible for making use of the highly debated gaming machines, not only made a nice profit for their own establishment, but they used much of the proceeds generated from the electronic bingo games to make liberal monetary donations to the local community and to further assist members in the community that were in immediate need of assistance.

Current inhabitants of the state of Wyoming are dissatisfied with the condition of present gambling laws and many of the residents are pushing for the creation of a gaming committee to oversee current and future gambling endeavors. Many officials, along with the residents of Wyoming that support the establishment of casinos, believe that the current gambling laws are confusing because they are subject to the interpretation of individual counties. Many people in Wyoming believe that existing laws are not being interpreted correctly or enforced efficiently. Due to the fact that every county in the state of Wyoming is responsible for enforcing the present-day gambling regulations in addition to their subsequent consequences, many of Wyoming’s inhabitants feel that individual interpretation and the decision or indecision to act on the existing laws is creating an imbalance from county to county. Thus, officials are striving for a more uniformed and unambiguous approach to the current gambling laws and their implementation.

A committee was formed to discuss the possibility of forming a Gaming Commission and members of Wyoming were permitted to express their opinions pertaining to the change of existing laws. Many residents expressed the belief that the establishment of casinos and other types of gaming could ultimately produce significant revenue from the state. The same residents further supported their argument with the fact that many people who live in Wyoming desire gaming facilities and that those who desire casinos or other forms of gambling entertainment simply visit adjoining states to gamble. Other residents argued that they were perfectly content with the current state of affairs. Some residents expressed an ill regard for gambling in its entirety and further argued that they did not want gambling facilities established in the state of Wyoming because gaming often leads to other activities that could have a considerably negative effect on Wyoming’s communities; the residents that argue against the establishment of casinos in Wyoming felt that with the approval of gambling establishments, crime levels might increase.

As recently as July 2005, a Native American Indians, specifically the North Arapahos Tribe, were given authorization to establish a casino on their reservation via a court ruling from the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. The tribe argued that Wyoming's existing gambling laws are far too obscure. Thus, it may not be very long before Wyoming residents see the state's first full-fledged casino established: that is if, and only if, the United States Department of the Interior approves and does not alter the laws that are currently in place pertaining to gambling on reservations.

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