Following a reconsideration of their initial vote, the Wyoming House of Representatives has changed its position and voted to pass a bill to regulate online sports betting.
The bill would legalise sports betting with a view to attracting revenues for the state, with the new market to be overseen by the Wyoming Gaming Commission.
The bill now heads to the Senate for further debate, where it is widely expected to succeed. The reversal comes only day after the bill failed due to several representatives speaking out against the problems and social costs of gambling.
In an impassioned opposition, Representative Evan Simpson said this “particular fun activity has the potential of destroying a lot of lives. Addictions are real and they will happen in our society if we pass this bill.”
Yet others made the evermore common argument across the US: that denying betting means the state suffers, while players continue to gambling but remain unprotected by regulations.
“It’s already happening, so you have the opportunity to regulate it and craft the framework around what works and doesn’t work,” said Representative Jared Olsen. “To protect the citizens of Wyoming without telling them the choices they can and cannot make, it’s setting parameters that keeps consumers safe.”
Having been defeated in the first vote by a close margin of 32-28 margin, the second reading reversed this by the exact inverse, 32-28.