Can I play online poker in the Cowboy State? The answer is yes! Is it legal to play online poker in Wyoming? The answer to this is also yes!
Despite the vagueness of the Wyoming statutes regarding Internet poker, the answer is clearly “yes.” While Wyoming is a small market, there are several internet sites that cater to it, more out of indifference than any definite policy of encouraging the state's residents to sign up and deposit. There has never been a prosecution in the state against an online poker player. Unlike in some other states, there haven't been crackdowns against the operators of gambling sites either. If you don’t want to drive over to Wind River Casino when the mood for poker strikes you, then head online and play at the site of your choice. Internet-based poker is, for all intents and purposes, legal in Wyoming.
The cultural characteristics common to Wyomingites seem to play a role in this laissez-faire attitude toward online poker. While the state is heavily conservative, having voted Republican in every presidential election from 1968 onwards, it's more of a fiscally responsible, small government conservatism rather than an ideology focused around social matters. Indeed, we must remember that Wyoming is called the Equality State in honor of its progressive credentials in granting the vote to women in 1869 – the first state in the Union to do so. The farmers, cowboys and ranchers who initially settled the area were renowned for their independence and freewheeling lifestyle, which has evolved today into a spirit of minding one's own damn business and letting others do as they please.
When we turn our eyes to the broader picture of federal laws, we see that the situation is OK for Wyoming online poker too. The much-discussed UIGEA legislation didn't exactly identify what constitutes legal or illegal gambling although it was widely interpreted in certain quarters as prohibiting internet poker in conjunction with the earlier Wire Act. In a 2011 ruling, the Department of Justice issued a clarification stating that the Wire Act was only relevant to sportsbetting, so it appears that poker and other types of online gambling, apart from wagering on sporting contests, are OK from a federal perspective. The only online poker that’s banned under the UIGEA involves playing from a state with specific legislation outlawing the game, which Wyoming does not have, making poker legal in the opinion of the DoJ.
Since online poker is legal in Wyoming, you may be interested in learning what the best poker rooms on the internet are. There are a number of reputable companies offering their services throughout Wyoming, and Professional RakeBack staff members have personally reviewed them to determine which ones are best. The rooms we present to you have honest games, reliable cashouts and attractive bonus offers. When you click through our links to create your accounts at the poker destinations that pique your interest, remember to clear your browser cookies first. This will ensure that your account is tracked to us, which will allow us to go to bat for you in the event of any unlikely issues with the poker room.
Ignition Poker is a card room on the PaiWangLuo Network. Both of these names may be unfamiliar to you, but this is the same site that used to be called Bovada, and the poker action has remained the same under the new name. There’s one big feature in place at Ignition that you won’t find at most other rooms: anonymous tables. Players aren’t identified by their usernames or other identifying information, making it tougher for savvy, experienced pros to prey on weaker newcomers. While this way of doing things has its detractors, most players approve of it as evidenced by the fact that Ignition has the most traffic of any online poker site open to Americans.
You’ll get a 100% up to $1,000 welcome bonus upon making your first deposit, and it clears at a rate of about 30% rakeback. Actually, this rate of return isn’t constant across the whole bonus: The initial portions pay out at up to 100% rakeback. This makes Ignition the perfect place to go if the amount of money you have to spare for online poker is a bit low.
The games at Ignition Poker tend to be much softer than you’d find at other U.S. online poker sites. This is because the anonymized gameplay (discussed above) and the cap of four cash game tables at a time have dissuaded most serious sharks from taking a seat here. You’ll therefore get to battle against a crew of recreational part-timers who view poker as an entertainment rather than an occupation. Your wallet will thank you for playing here assuming you yourself know how to play well.
You’ll find No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha running around the clock at stakes from $0.05/$0.10 all the way up to $10/$20. If you’re a Fixed Limit Hold’em devotee, this is probably the site for you because you’ll find some tables to your liking though perhaps not at the exact blind level you’re looking for. Still, the LHE traffic at Ignition is an order of magnitude more than what you’d find at most competing sites. There’s another type of poker that no other U.S.-leaning internet poker room has, called Zone Poker. This is a fast-fold style of poker where players can fold and be immediately transported a new table with new cards. Zone Poker allows you to play hundreds of hands per hour, and there’s never a dull moment. The sit-n-gos at Ignition are about what you’d expect, but there is an unusual Triple Up format that isn’t offered elsewhere. Ignition has a robust MTT schedule, headlined by the $162 Sunday $100,000 guaranteed event, and there are tournament series several times per year.
Both Windows and Mac download software packages are available. You can also play on your mobile device, without even having to install an app, through Ignition’s responsive mobile interface. It works not only with iOS and Android machines but also with virtually every smartphone and tablet released in the past few years. However, only cash games and Zone Poker are supported for mobile, and you can only play one table at a time. Click here to join Ignition Poker today.
Sites on the Winning Poker Network include Americas Cardroom, Blackchip Poker, True Poker, PokerHost and Ya Poker. These separate sites, or “skins,” are just basically different gateways through which people access the same poker games, but there are slight differences between them. Maybe because of the number of brands it incorporates, the Winning Poker Network has the second-largest volume of any poker solution open to Wyoming players, just behind Ignition.
When you choose to play at any Winning Poker Network poker site, you’ll be rewarded with a 100% up to $1,000 bonus, which will effectively refund you 20% of the rake and tournament fees you pay. You’ll also get the choice, depending on which of our links you use to sign up, to receive either a flat 27% rakeback for life or to partake in the rewards of WPN’s Elite Benefits program. We recommend the rakeback deal unless you play a significant volume of hands regularly each month, in which case Elite Benefits will be vastly be superior for you. If you sign up at Americas Cardroom, you’ll also receive $50 in free tournament entries credited to your account a little bit at a time over the course of 20 days.
The ring games at WPN are pretty par for the course, with No Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha offered from microstakes ($0.01/$0.02) all the way up to high stakes ($25/$50). You’ll also see Limit Hold’em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Stud active on occasion. Where Americas Cardroom and the rest of the network really shine is in SNGs. In addition to the standard competitions, there’s also three-handed Jackpot Poker, which multiplies the prize pool by a random amount and leads to the opportunity for a sizable payday if you’re lucky. Winning Poker Network has also deployed SNG 2.0, a nine-player contest where the prizes have the chance to grow larger through a random mechanism, and at the highest levels, the entire table gets paid. On the MTT front, the signature weekly event is the $215 Sunday Special, which pays out at least $150,000. Also watch for the Million Dollar Sunday, a $540 tournament guaranteeing $1,000,000 in prizes, to appear once every few months. The Online Super Series is a regular phenomenon throughout the year, and in some incarnations, the events on its schedule are worth several million dollars in total prize money.
The poker software at WPN is for Windows computers only, but there is a Mac version currently in beta. There’s, so far, no support for mobile poker. Go to one of these poker solutions and open your account today: Americas Cardroom, BlackChip Poker, True Poker, PokerHost.
Chico Poker Network is quickly rising through the ranks of poker operators that service the Wyoming player base. It supports two separate U.S.-facing sites, BetOnline and Sportsbetting.ag, which are almost identical to each other. This network is about two-thirds as large, by traffic numbers, as WPN and Ignition.
Every newly depositing player gets a 100% bonus up to $2,500, and this bonus pays back 33% on your rake and tourney entry fees. Even after you’ve completed your bonus, there are still plenty of promos available, such as weekly leaderboards, comp points and reload bonuses.
No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha represent almost all the poker games running. Stud, Americana and 32 Card Draw are listed in the lobby, but hardly anybody ever plays them. Sit-and-go tournaments can be found from $0.05 all the way up to $525. Most of the activity is concentrated at below the $20 level, but even the priciest SNGs do fire once in a while. When it comes to MTTs, Chico Poker’s premium offering is the $100,000 Guaranteed, which occurs on the last Sunday of every month and costs $109 to enter. During other weeks, the headline Sunday tournament varies between $44 and $99 and a guaranteed amount between $20,000 and $50,000.
Poker download programs are provided for both Macs and Windows PCs and they recently released a full featured mobile poker app. Head over to BetOnline or Sportsbetting.ag and register for a poker account.
The Horizon Poker Network is quite a bit smaller than the other providers we’ve discussed with perhaps only 1/10 as many players as Ignition. Yet, it features the stable and long-established Intertops poker room, so you don’t need to have any doubts about the security of the games or the safety of your money. Juicy Stakes is also a member of this network, but Intertops offers a superior variety of banking methods, so it’s our preferred site.
Upon your first successful deposit, you’ll get a 200% match up to $1,000 on the funds you deposited. We can set you up with a 36% rakeback account if you want one, or you can claim the VIP rewards instead. The welcome bonus is worth up to 27% additional rakeback on top of the standard 36% plan, but those without RB will see this jump to perhaps 54%. Users sans rakeback will also find it easier to generate earnings through the weekly rake races, loyalty levels and redeposit bonuses to be had at Intertops.
There are always games running in No Limit Hold’em and Pot Limit Omaha, but tables above $1/$2 are usually empty. Other games don’t draw enough traffic to be worth mentioning. Sit and gos are present in a wide array of sizes and levels, but most of them sit idle apart from those at the lowest stakes. Things are a bit better on the multi-table tournament front. There are plenty of tourneys with guarantees that run every day, but most of them are priced at $20 or less. On Sundays, you’ll be able to enter the Sunday Sundowner Special for $55 and compete for your share of the $2,500 guaranteed prize pool.
You can start your poker account and download the Intertops or Juicy Stakes poker client for Windows. For Mac fans and those who prefer to play without downloading any software, there is an instant play browser only version of the poker software available.
Grand Poker is the smallest of the sites we advise Wyoming residents to play at, but it’s backed by the large and reputable 5Dimes online gambling organization. You might have trouble finding multiple games at each limit, particularly during off-peak hours, but when you encounter a table running, it will probably be among the easiest games to be found in all of online poker.
You’ll receive a 200% up to $2,500 bonus on your inaugural deposit at this poker room, but it’s worth only 10% of your rake back. Nevertheless, Grand Poker is a remunerative place to play because all clients receive a 50% rakeback deal when signing up through Professional Rakeback.
No Limit Hold’em cash game tables exist from $0.05/$0.10 through $1/$2, and these same levels, plus $0.02/$0.04, are present for PLO as well. PLO/8 runs from $0.05/$0.10 all the way up to $3/$6. What’s unusual about the way games start here is that it depends heavily on preferences of whoever happens to be playing at any particular time. That is, you might find three $1/$2 games running and zero at $0.05/$0.01 or vice versa just based upon what the few logged-in users feel like doing. SNGs are listed from $1.61 to $122.25, but they hardly ever start even at micro-stakes. The tournament offerings at Grand Poker consist of MTTs with buyins of $5.50 and less. This includes the largest tournament on the schedule, the $5.50 Sunday $500 Guaranteed R/A.
A lot of resources went into the development of Grand Poker, which is apparent when we consider that there are download installers for both Mac and Windows. That’s not all: You can play right from your browser through a flash app, and there’s a mobile client for cellphones and tablets. The poker room’s website claims that the software was developed using cross-platform Qt technology and hints that a native Linux version may be in the offing. Sign up directly for Grand Poker by clicking this link.
Each of the options we’ve outlined above for Wyoming online poker has its own strengths and weaknesses, and your ultimate decision will be based on your personal goals and the kinds of games you like best.
There may not be a clear-cut answer as to the right place for you to play online. You may have to balance the various factors against each other to arrive at a sensible decision. Whichever of these rooms you join, you’ll be electing to play at a place that’s reliable and honest.
Every site that we highlight for people in Wyoming supports Bitcoin (except Juicy Stakes), and we encourage you to use this method for both deposits and withdrawals. BTC transactions are fee-free and they’re speedy too. All these rooms also accept credit cards, but this might mean you’ll have to wait for a check to arrive after requesting a withdrawal, a process that could take several weeks. Other methods of funding your account and receiving your winnings vary from company to company and may include money transfer services, bank wires and money orders.
When it comes to discussing Wyoming’s internet poker laws, we might as well be talking about extraterrestrial clowns or somersaulting unicorns. The word “poker” simply can’t be found in any of the voluminous Wyoming statutes. Instead, when trying to gauge the legality of online poker, we have to fall back on the state’s legislation regarding gambling in general, including its definition of what gambling is (§ 6-7-101(iii)):
"Gambling" means risking any property for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, over which the person taking a risk has no control, but does not include any of the following:
There then follows a list of carve-outs that are exempted from being counted as gambling, including charitable bingo games and “any game, wager or transaction which is incidental to a bona fide social relationship.” Unfortunately, poker isn’t specifically listed as a permitted activity. The fact that this definition of gambling covers any bet that depends even partially on “lot” or “chance” is bad news for poker because the pastime certainly depends in part on luck regardless of the fact that it’s mostly a game of skill.
Professional gambling is also defined (§ 6-7-101(viii)):
"Professional gambling" means: (A) Aiding or inducing another to engage in gambling, with the intent to derive a profit therefrom; or (B) Participating in gambling and having, other than by virtue of skill or luck, a lesser chance of losing or a greater chance of winning than one (1) or more of the other participants.
So professional gambling is reduced to either convincing others to play while hoping to thereby profit or engaging in actual cheating! We bet there are plenty of poker pros who would take issue with this idea of what professional gambling is.
On to the penalties for gambling and professional gambling (§ 6-7-102):
(a) A person who engages in gambling commits a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than six (6) months, a fine of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750.00), or both. (b) A person who engages in professional gambling commits a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than three (3) years, a fine of not more than three thousand dollars ($3,000.00), or both.
There are undoubtedly penalties attached to gambling in Wyoming, but in practice, these laws are only used to go after people running shady gambling operations inside state borders. The last time anyone seriously considered enforcing these statutes in relation to poker was an ill-fated push in 2004 by overzealous prosecutors to shut down barroom tourneys, but these efforts came to naught. Even then, it was the bar owners who were at risk, not the players in the games. When we consider how toothless these laws have proven against brick-and-mortar poker and then ponder how likely it is that the authorities will attempt to exercise them against individual internet players, we must conclude that there’s virtually no legal risk to enjoying online poker in Wyoming.
In the days of the Wild West, poker was a favored hobby of many gunmen, prospectors, cattle ranchers and others in Wyoming Territory. They mostly played Five Card Draw and a non-poker game called Faro in those pre-Texas Hold’em times. One of the most famous venues for poker was the Occidental Saloon in Buffalo, WY, where high-stakes games would run for days on end.
After Wyoming achieved statehood, it passed the McGill Act in 1901 perhaps in an attempt to shed its colorful past and present a new image to the world. This bill made all types of gambling and betting illegal throughout the state, auguring an end to legal poker and many other types of wagering that were hitherto popular. The evidence suggests, though, that the games just went underground rather than disappearing altogether.
The provisions of the McGill Act remained rigidly in force until the 1980s when the Northern Arapaho tribe sought to establish a casino under the terms of the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. They were blocked at every turn by state authorities until the case went to court and the Arapaho won a complete victory. The tribe today operates Wind River Casino in Riverton while other groups run the Shoshone Rose in Lander and Little Wind in Ethete. Of the three, only Wind River Casino has poker tables.
Other recently permitted types of gambling in Wyoming are pari-mutuel racetrack betting and a Wyoming Lottery, called WyoLotto, which only began to sell tickets in 2014 although it still doesn’t offer scratch-off, instant-win games. The edifice of Wyoming anti-gambling laws has been eroding steadily now for a few decades, and we find it hard to believe that this trend will reverse any time soon.
A few states, like New Jersey and Nevada, have implemented licensing regimes allowing firms to offer online poker to their residents with the full backing of state officials. The benefits to these arrangements are that the state can earn tax revenue while the players feel more secure playing at fully regulated sites. The downside is that player pools tend to be very small because they’re restricted to people either living in or visiting the state in question. Regardless, this is mostly an academic question in Wyoming’s case. Despite the relaxation of formerly strict gambling codes, there are no proposals on the table to establish regulated online poker in Wyoming, and it’s unlikely that any will appear in the near future. In any case, the population of the state is too small to support such enterprises unless an interstate compact is formed to combine pools of players across state lines. Even if the law is changed, the proper governing bodies established, licenses issued and authorized online cardrooms instituted – a process that could take decades – offshore sites may still be better choices for many of Wyoming’s players.
Overall, there’s nothing tangible holding you back from playing online poker in Wyoming. The Wyoming statutes on this question are exceptionally vague and have never been enforced against internet poker enthusiasts. Select the site that you think best fits your needs; then sign up, deposit and begin playing now.
If you are lucky enough to have another address in a nearby state, be it your business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc, you may have other online poker options available to you. Here are a list of the states that border Wyoming and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Dakota and Utah.