Laramie Police Plan “Skill Games” Removal Following AG’s Ruling
In response to the recent declaration on electronic gaming machines in the state, Laramie Police say they will be attempting to bring local businesses up to code soon.
Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael declared Tuesday that so-called "skill games" classify as illegal gambling devices.
Laramie Police Chief Dale Stalder told Laramie Live on Wednesday that local law enforcement will be reaching out to any businesses that have the devices in question to inform them of the new clarity on state law and hopes there will be no need for actual enforcement.
"I'll be meeting next week with the City of Laramie and the City Clerk to probably develop some correspondence to put out to all of our liquor license holders as well as other businesses where we know that theses games exist," said Stalder. "That letter should hopefully go out sometime right after the new year and its our thought that we will have good cooperation in removing those machines from the businesses."
When asked about a protocol for enforcement, Stalder said, "Certainly Wyoming state statute gives us the authority to fight violations of the gambling statutes," but added, "right now I don't see that as a necessary step to take. I think we just need to let our liquor license holders and pari-mutuel establishments know that there's clarity on the issue now."
Stalder believes the Laramie Police have maintained a good working relationship with liquor license holders and pari-mutuel establishments, and therefore expects them to continue to follow the laws set by the state of Wyoming.
"We don't foresee any type of an adversarial relationship at all with our license holders or other businesses that have those," said Stalder.
The AG's declaration won't impact "historic horse racing" terminals at pari-mutuel off-track betting locations, which are explicitly permitted under Wyoming law.
Sen. Chris Rothfuss spoke to Laramie Live on KOWB Thursday morning saying, "An AG opinion is not definitive. I don't know if listeners understand that. That is an opinion and the courts have the final say on it. Law enforcement may go with what he says, but unless its challenged in court then this specific decision is still up in the air."
Wyoming Downs of Laramie, an off-track betting establishment, says all of their machines are compliant and do not fall under the ruling. They do not expect their business to be affected in any way.