Wyoming will be seeking to alter their gambling regulations from 2020, following the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Travel, Recreation and Cultural Resources lately passed a bill which will grant an expansion towards the state’s Pari-Mutuel Commission.
On Thursday, members of the committee performed a meeting within the town of Dubois, to discuss changing the current regulations for horse racing within the state, and encompassing more commercial gaming aspects.
By the finish from the session, the majority were in favor for drafting a brand new bill amendment. The bill would see the county’s gaming commission accountable for enforcing and regulating legalized gaming in any county that desires to apply it.
All of the proceeds would then be invested back into the person counties and municipalities where these gaming operations are taking location. As the bill itself doesn’t legalize gambling as a completely, counties wishing to be included would initial need to opt in and agree towards the commissions regulations, and also the final decision would come from public vote.
The bill would also contact to get a law enforcement officer to function on behalf of the commission; ensuring that gaming is becoming regulated as it should be and all laws in the current legislation are being followed.
As good as all this might seem for Wyoming, the Northern Arapaho Tribe (who are Fremont County’s biggest employer and gaming enterprise), aren’t so happy about the prospect of sanctioning these gaming laws.
Unlike the Eastern Shoshone Tribe, the Arapaho’s don’t possess a revenue sharing agreement in place with the state, meaning these new laws could jeopardize a significant proportion of the tribe’s funding going forward.
The Arapaho’s have reportedly utilized a number of different approaches to contest why these new regulations ought to not be implemented in Wyoming. They also attempted to win the public over on many occasions previously when the legislature tried to change current gambling laws.
“If that bill passes,” talked about one of the tribe’s company council members Samuel Dresser. “It’s going to hurt us.”
Former CEO from the tribe, Jim Conrad also shared his views on what consequences the new legislation could have on Native American gaming in the region. “It’ll kill the tribal casinos,” he stated.
And if industrial gambling is legalized, it will be the two tribes that endure the most when it comes to revenue loss and clients. Especially if these locations will be licensed to serve alcohol.
It is been estimated that the Northern Arapaho tribe will lose close to $14 million a year (about 40% of their gambling operations) when the bill is passed.
Although the Eastern Shoshone’s well-known Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel in Lander do not need to share their revenue with the state, they have already faced their own financial hardship in the past; having to reduce solutions, hours of function and employee numbers in June this year.
Tribal leaders have heavily disputed the new legislation, but it appears that the county aren’t seeking to overturn decisions for commercial gaming to turn out to be much more accessible.
Mr. Dresser stated that the tribe initially approached the state within the early 2000s to discuss opening a casino, and they took a no-negotiations stance around the subject which forced the Northern Arapahos to take the problem to federal court. Law makers later ruled in favor of tribal gaming in 2005.
The tribe have invested greater than $80,000 in to the Wyoming Public Policy Center which formed the 2019 legislative session. Another $60,000 was recently spent in lobbying expenses to drive current petitions and policy papers that contest the new gambling regulations.