The Wyoming House of Representatives is scheduled to reconsider a bill that would legalize online sports wagering today after narrowly rejecting the bill on Tuesday.

The vote against House Bill 133 on Tuesday was 32-28 on the third and final reading. Normally a bill that is defeated on the third reading is dead for the session unless the same or a very similar bill advances through the opposite house.

But occasionally lawmakers can decide to reconsider the issue if someone who sided with the majority requests such a move.

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Rep. Evan Simpson [R-Lincoln County] on Tuesday warned ''This bill has the potential to destroy lives. Addictions are real, and they will happen if we pass this bill."

But Rep. Marshall Burt [Libertarian-Sweetwater County] argued "If someone wants to gamble on a sports game, why is it our role to say they can or can't do that?" Burt said he sees it as a freedom issue.

Under the proposal, the sports gaming commission would issue a permit to vendors: ''The commission shall charge a fee of ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) for an initial sports wagering vendor permit. An initial permit and any renewal permit shall each be valid for five (5) years. The commission shall charge a fee of five thousand dollars ($5,000.00) for a sports wagering vendor permit renewal."

A fiscal note attached to the bill says it isn't clear how much online sports betting might raise for the state, but it does say:

''The Gaming Commission indicates that the state’s sports wagering market is estimated at over $449,000,000, dependent upon conversion from the illegal market.''

So far as what events sports bets could be placed on, the bill says "Sporting event" means any professional sports event or athletic event, any Olympic or international sports event or athletic event, any amateur sports event or athletic event, any collegiate sports event or athletic event, electronic sports, or any portion thereof, including the individual performance statistics of contestants or athletes in sports events, athletic events or a combination of sports and athletic events, or any other event approved by commission rules;

 

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