Wyoming Legal Poker Sites

Wyoming StateWyoming is not well served by live poker card rooms – with only two tribal casinos offering any action at all, one with 3 tables and the other with just one! Social poker is much bigger in this State with home games legal, charity poker nights possible and free bar tournaments common – albeit within a legal grey area. Online poker is not permitted here, and there is little to indicate that the WY government will be regulating internet poker games any time soon.

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This page gives you an in-depth overview of the different forms of poker game in and around Wyoming. First of all the live ‘scene’ is covered – including options across State borders. Next social poker is discussed, including the rules for running a legal home game here. Online poker is covered next, with a look at offshore poker sites offering games to Wyoming residents. Finally you will find some key quotes relevant to poker players from the Wyoming legal codes – followed by a high level summary of the poker scene here.

Wyoming Live Poker Games

Even the limited options for live poker that do exist took a huge legal battle to get into place. This State refused to negotiate deals (or ‘compacts’) with their native tribes for many years – which effectively blocked them from building casinos on their native lands. Eventually the fight made it to Federal level and the State was over ruled. The result is 2 casinos so far and limited poker options, but hey – it is a start!

For more options, WY residents need to cross state borders. There are plenty of poker rooms in the South West corner of South Dakota at the famous Deadwood resort. Colorado also has several options for poker fans.

Are Home Games Legal In Wyoming?

Home games can be played in Wyoming, though there are specific rules covering these. The people have to have a ‘bona-fide relationship’ for a start, presumably this is a social relationship away from the game – though the term is not clearly defined in the Statutes. There is the usual ‘nobody profits from the game’ clause, though there is no mention of small stakes – so presumably that part is at the discretion of the players.

Casino charity poker nights are allowed here, though each game would need to be individually licensed. Buy-ins are not usually given back as prizes in this type of game, with prizes from sponsors taking their place.

Free poker leagues are popular in Wyoming, and feature small prizes offered by the venues as well as yearly ‘finals’ with bigger prizes. These operate in a legal grey area, though are not regularly busted.

Wyoming Online Poker Games

Even though online gambling is not mentioned in the WY laws, the authorities here are on record saying that internet gambling and poker are illegal under the current codes. With their reluctance to negotiate with the tribes or offer any State licensed forms of poker, it is not thought likely that Wyoming will regulate online poker games within their State. There is no reason that this subject could not be revisited at some point down the line once the revenue stream is proven by other States.

Online poker sites operating from offshore locations such as the Netherlands Antilles welcome players from Wyoming. These sites are enjoyed by thousands of US players from around the country every day – and are 100% legal in their own countries. While strictly speaking this is against the law in Wyoming, there have never been any arrests simply for playing real money poker games online here.

What Do The Wyoming Gambling Statutes Say?

The Wyoming Statutes make extra sure that every possible angle is covered in their blanket ban of all gambling activity not specifically carved out. The main definition covers ‘gambling’ and does include the ‘in part’ clause when it comes to chance which makes the poker skill-game argument very difficult to argue. If the core definition is not enough, then the code here is ready to catch you out in a number of other ways including operation of gambling devices, running a gambling house or promoting a gambling game.

Here is the core definition of gambling, this is from Chapter 6, part 7-101 of the WY code:

…risking any property for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control…

Wyoming Poker – Summing It Up

The grudging negotiations with tribal groups and subsequent opening of 2 small poker rooms are as good as it gets for Wyoming residents. Only social (home) games can be played for real money outside of these casinos, and then under strict rules. With some bigger and better options in Colorado and South Dakota, the best strategy for poker fans here may well be to travel. Internet poker regulation looks to be a remote possibility here, though things can change when proven revenue streams for State coffers are involved.