Wyoming Lottery Bill Would Allow Players to Pay with Cryptocurrency

State Flag of Wyoming on Right with Sports Betting Card and Money on Left

Wyoming legislators will have an important decision to make when they meet again next week. Members of the Joint Committee on Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Culture Resources have sponsored a bill that would bring major changes to the Wyoming lottery.

The Cowboy State is already a trailblazer in the world of online sports betting. Proposed legislation could hello pave the way for a modern version of lottery games.

If passed, companion measures SF0056 and HB0008 would change key pieces of language in the state code. The changes would allow players to purchase lottery tickets with virtual currency. Cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, could be used to purchase tickets at approved retail dealers.

The legislation would also bring changes to the type of games offered. If passed, the bills would allow retail dealers to sell approved scratch-off tickets. Currently, scratch-off tickets are prohibited in Wyoming. A recent study suggests that scratch-off tickets could quadruple the state’s revenue from lottery games. The bill details how funds from the sale of the new games would be allocated.

Wyoming Bill Would Allow Use of Virtual Currency

Senate File 0056 is the portion of the measure that would allow virtual currency. If passed, the bill would make several changes to the language of the state code to allow cryptocurrency. The bill would work in several parts.

First, the bill would remove language that limits the types of payments allowed for lottery tickets. Currently, the state code only allows for cash payments. SF0056 would remove that limitation. However, it would not remove the language that prohibits using credit and debit cards to buy lottery tickets.

Next, the bill would add language to allow for approved virtual currency to be used to buy lottery tickets. The WY Lottery Board would be in charge of deciding which currencies are approved. If approved, Wyoming would be one of the first states to allow virtual payments.

Other Changes Including in New Wyoming Lottery Bill

The other part of the companion legislation is Wyoming House Bill 0008. If passed, this bill would allow retail lottery dealers to sell approved scratch-off tickets. Approved tickets would be provided by the Wyoming Lottery and the Multi-State Lottery Association.

The bill would also add provisions on how revenue from scratch-off ticket sales should be spent. Net proceeds from the sale of scratch-off tickets would be put toward the Wyoming Outdoor Recreation Office fund. The bill would still prohibit other types of instant win tickets as well as video lottery terminals.

Part of the reason for the push to allow scratch-off tickets comes from a 2016 study. The WY Lottery conducted a study to gauge the interest of residents in scratch-off tickets. According to the results of the study, sales from scratch-off tickets would increase the lottery’s yearly proceeds fourfold.

Conclusion

Two bills are on the table in Wyoming that could put the state at the forefront of state lottery games. The companion bills are sponsored by the state’s Joint Committee on Travel, Recreation, Wildlife & Cultural Resources. If passed, the bills will greatly expand both payment options and the types of lottery tickets available.

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SF0056 would amend the state code to allow people to purchase lottery tickets with approved virtual currency. The WY Lottery Board would be in charge of deciding which cryptocurrency can be used.

HB0008 would expand the type of lottery games available. If passed, licensed retail dealers could sell scratch-off tickets. The WY Lottery and the Multi-State Lottery Association would produce the tickets.

If the bills are passed, the WY Lottery could see massive growth in ticket sales. A study by the WY Lottery in 2016 concluded that scratch-off tickets could quadruple lottery proceeds. The ability to use virtual currency would allow more payment options and would also likely increase sales.