July 1, 2013 – A bill creating the Wyoming Lottery takes effect today, but it will likely be months before would-be players can buy lottery tickets.
And when the lottery officially kicks off sales sometime in the next year, video lotteries, scratch-off games, or any other type of instant lottery games will be strictly off-limits for Wyoming players.
State Rep. David Zwonziter, who sponsored the lottery bill, told the Wyoming Star-Tribune “we’re not into scratch-tickets or any kind of video lottery – anything that might be considered instant gratification.”
He said that prohibiting “instant gratification” games was the only way the bill could have survived the state legislature’s voting process.
The lottery bill also prohibits any type of “deferred payment” like checks, credit cards or check cards.
The 44th state to create a lottery, Wyoming will have to compete with five bordering states that also offer lottery games – Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana.
Estimates by supporters of the bill projected that the Wyoming Lottery can bring in about $6 million in profits for the state each year.
According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the first $6 million earned will be earmarked for local governments. Public education will receive lottery funds after that.
But the state isn’t making any bets on how successful the Lottery could be. The bill created the Wyoming Lottery as a public corporation – separate from the state government.
The Governor’s policy adviser, Nephi Cole, summed up lawmakers’ split attitudes on the Lottery bill: “this lottery will have to sink or swim on its own.”