- Caesars Sportsbook is now live with mobile sports betting in Wyoming.
- Wyoming’s regulatory framework for sports betting is ‘pound for pound’ the best in the United States.
- Unfortunately, the state has been overlooked by many sportsbook operators due to its small population.
The fact that every major mobile sportsbook isn’t already serving ‘big, wonderful Wyoming’ is everything that is wrong with the US sports betting industry. The state has the best regulatory framework for sports betting in the US, ridiculously reasonable fees, no juicing in of legacy gaming players…errrr…tethering and a 10% tax rate. No silly sports or bet restrictions. In many ways, Wyoming’s sports betting regulations are very similar to those in Ontario. Here’s some specifics on the sports betting regs in Wyoming:
Wyoming also resisted the temptation to try and extract as much money as possible through taxes and licensing fees. The fee structure in Wyoming is such that any legitimate sports betting provider really doesn’t have an excuse *not* to launch in the state–initial licensing fees will be $100,000 and good for five years with subsequent renewal fees at $50,000. The 10% tax rate is a bit higher than I’d like but it’s important to keep in mind that sportsbooks won’t be sharing their revenue with a third party ‘access provider’ from the legacy gaming industry as they do in most states. ‘Net net’, the 10% tax rate in Wyoming is functionally less of a financial bite than New Jersey’s 8.5% or even Iowa’s 6.75%.
We’ve talked about this before but that last point is huge. The typical revenue share by sportsbooks that ‘partner’ with a legacy gaming business or other entity with sufficient political clout (eg: pro sports teams) is 10% to 15%. That’s why most sportsbooks would rather pay a higher tax rate with none of the ‘tethering’ nonsense than a lower rate that is supplemented by payments to a third party business that has been financially generous to politicians in a given state. In Wyoming, they don’t have to. There are just a handful of states with a tax rate lower than 10% (eg: Indiana, Iowa, Nevada) and a handful at 10% (eg: Colorado, West Virginia). Wyoming has a low tax rate *without* a third party getting a cut. Given the going rate of a revenue share deal (10% to 15%), Wyoming has a functional tax rate of zero.
For the cost of a couple of prime time TV spots in New York City, a sportsbook could pay their Wyoming licensing fees and have money left over. The only thing that Wyoming *doesn’t* have is a whole lot of people. The state’s population is 576,851–that’s the lowest of any US state. They’ve also got the lowest population density of any state except Alaska.
There is some good news for Wyoming bettors today–Caesars Sportsbook has announced that they’re now live in the Cowboy State. They’ve even got a new version of their app–it’s on the iPhone’s iOS for now but they’ll be porting it to Android at some point:
The new native iOS Caesars Sportsbook app features improved performance with a focus on speed, ease of use, and intuitive features to make getting your bet down easier than ever. Caesars Sportsbook combines this elevated sports wagering experience with the unmatched rewards that Wyoming sports fans can enjoy through the app’s integration with the industry-leading customer loyalty program, Caesars Rewards.
According to the press release announcing the launch, Caesars Sportsbook is now live in 24 US states and jurisdictions–18 with mobile betting. The fact that there are actually states *without* mobile sports betting is also on the list of ‘everything that is wrong with the industry’, but that’s a conversation for another day.
Eric Hession, Co-President of Caesars Digital, gave the press release quote for his company:
“We’re ready to give sports fans in Wyoming the first-class sports betting experience they deserve. Our upgraded mobile sports wagering app together with unforgettable experiences through Caesars Rewards is a special combination we’re excited to bring to this market.”
We’re still really bullish on Wyoming’s future as a sports betting epicenter. They’ve got a unique confluence of factors that make it a great place to set up an office, a US headquarters or similar presence.