Wyoming is the least populated state in the US and as such, does not have a huge market for online poker gambling. However, there is no hindrance to your enjoying online poker in Wyoming. Other states have prosecuted online poker players in the past, but no such incident has been recorded in the state of Wyoming. However, Wyoming has not been a model gambling-friendly state because it only recently allowed casino gaming.
Brief History of Poker in Wyoming
The history of poker in Wyoming is very interesting as the state earned a reputation as a poker hotspot. Gunmen, cattle ranchers, prospectors of the Wild West turned to Poker early on as more of a hobby. There are stories of legendary games running for days without end, with one of the popular venues being the Occidental Saloon in Buffalo, WY. Some of the games played were Five Card, Draw and Faro, which was a non-poker game. Wyoming officially became a state in 1901 and immediately swung into action, clamping down on all forms of gambling through the McGill Act. This was done to present the state in a different light and rid it of its reputation in gambling. However, it is believed that the games did not disappear completely, but instead, went underground.
Gambling stayed prohibited in the state until the Northern Arapaho Tribe sought to establish a casino with the cover of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. With the refusal of Wyoming to come to the negotiating table, the Northern Arapaho Tribe decided to take up the issue in court. The case went on for over ten years and then was eventually won by the tribe. The victory came because of the provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulation Act. In 2005, the tribe set up its casino, now called the Wind River Casino in Riverton. The Eastern Shoshone Tribe also got its approval in 2006, making these two tribes representatives of the only legal casinos in Wyoming.
The Legality of Poker in Wyoming
The state of Wyoming frowns on gambling but with a few exceptions. The tribal lands that won the case against the state were allowed to open casinos and those are the only two legal casinos in the state. Outside of these tribal lands, it is impossible – and illegal – to find casinos anywhere else in the state. There are penalties for engaging in illegal gambling that cover both players and operators. An individual caught gambling illegally could be guilty of a misdemeanor that is punishable by a fine of $750 or imprisonment for not more than six months. In some cases, players might receive both punishments.
For professionals, it is a felony that attracts a $3,000 fine, imprisonment for not more than three months, or both. You should note that the definition of gambling given by the state does not cover social gambling, charitable gambling, and a variety of other games that are permitted by the state. Also, there is no legal risk for indulging in online gambling.
Wind River Casino
The Wind River Casino is located at Riverton which is home to the Northern Arapaho Tribe. It is open for 24 hours every day of the week. This is a relatively small poker room that usually allows one Texas Hold’em cash table and about ten others that are strictly for tournaments. Every Wednesday is tournament day, with the game being no-limit hold’em.
As a result of the poker area having only one table, the tournament usually holds at different sections of the casino to accommodate as many players as possible. In terms of complimentary service and rewards, you do not get much out of Wild River Casino. Alcohol is not allowed at the tables so if you want some you’d have to have your fill before you step in the vicinity. However, you have access to a self-service station when you can get a soda, tea, or coffee. Most of the players on the ground will be regulars with a few newbies trying to get in on the experience. On tournament days, the competition gets stiff, like most poker rooms.
This is the second casino room that can be found in Wyoming. It is open only on Mondays and Wednesdays from 7pm, and on Saturdays and Sundays from 6 pm. Every week, the Laramie poker room hosts five no-limit hold’em tournaments. In the three tables available, you will find an exciting mix of experienced and newbie players all looking to get a piece of the action in this semi-private poker club. You do not have to worry about losing in every pot as there is no rake at all in this poker room. Food and cocktails are allowed at the tables and you also are rewarded with comps through the Laramie Poker Frequent Player Points rewards program. There is a referral bonus of $25 when you bring in a new player to the game. Also, the first five players in a cash game are given $10 each.
Online Poker Sites
The name might be misleading, as one might think it as a strictly sports bookmaker, but that is not the case. Sportsbetting.ag also offers a lot of poker games to US bettors. Sportsbetting offers you a welcome bonus of 100% up to $1,000. Here is where it gets exciting: the casino bonus is available on your first three deposits totaling up to $3,000. You will also be rewarded with comp points as a bonus when you play in tournaments or ring games.
This is a recognized room across the US, known for its anonymity at tables and overall reputation. Here, players enjoy ultimate anonymity at the tables that protect the newcomers and do not leave them open to targeting by the experienced players. Ignition Poker also offers an initial deposit bonus of 100% up to the tune of $1,000.