Cheyenne, WY – Governor Matt Mead will decide this week whether to sign the bill that would set up a state lottery in Wyoming. Don’t get your dollars out quite yet. Even if the governor does sign the bill, it could still be up to a year before Wyomingites see a lottery in local stores.
If it becomes law, Wyoming’s lottery bill would take effect on July 1, the beginning of the fiscal year. Following that, national lottery officials say it can take between six months and a year to get a game up and running, which is after people have been named to head the operation.
Many factors can affect the time frame of a lottery. Once the lottery is approved, the governor must appoint a nine-member board to oversee and run a lottery corporation. The state will have oversight, but the corporation will have broad powers to decide how and when to move forward. Once the board is appointed, members must decide what type of lottery to hold. The bill allows the state to choose a state lottery or join a multi-state game, such as Powerball. The bill bans scratch-off or other instant win type games. After the game is selected and the rules determined, vendors put terminals into retail locations. Other important steps include securing background checks, working with retailers and securing a location to house the lottery corporation’s official headquarters.
It will likely be mid 2014 or 2015 before Wyoming begins selling it’s own lottery tickets.
By Deborah Demander, KNYN/KADQ News Director