County Tables Decision to Add Horse Race Wagering in Bars

Slot machines lined up in a casino.
Slot machines lined up in a casino.

Wyoming Downs, LLC is seeking approval from county commission boards across the state to conduct pari mutuel wagering in bars and other facilities that are licensed through the Wyoming Gaming Commission. On Tuesday, they set their sights on Campbell County.

Addressing the Campbell County Commissioners at their regularly scheduled Tuesday morning meeting, Wyoming Downs Public Relations Specialist Jill Jarrard requested the company be allowed to expand into local bars to create mini-sites apart from the two establishments that are currently in town, adding that per Wyoming Gaming Commission rules, they are required to share 1% of the profits gained from pari mutuel wagering to the city and county entities in which the wagers were placed.

This request follows a recent decision made by the Campbell County Board of Commissioners, which allowed Wyoming Downs to expand to their second location in Gillette off S. Douglas Highway.

In 2019, when Wyoming Downs was still limited to one location, off West Over Road, the company paid the City of Gillette and Campbell County $405,726.11 each in taxes as required by the Wyoming Gaming Commission.

The bars in which the terminals would be placed to create the mini-sites will also receive a portion of the profit, Jarrard said. Currently, most facilities that partner with Wyoming Downs are splitting the profits 40/60, Jarrard said, or 50/50 for higher-demand locations.

Jarrard went on to say that despite certain verbiage in the resolution proposed to the board, Wyoming Downs isn’t planning to expand their presence further than bars in Campbell County.

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“We’re really only interested in moving into bars,” she said.

There are a couple Bingo parlors in Natrona that Wyoming Downs looking at, she noted, but for the most part said it was just bars.

Chairman of the Board of Commissioners D.G Reardon requested that County Administrative Director Carol Seeger remove the portion of the proposed resolution that approves “other legally authorized establishments within Campbell County” to eliminate nuance.

However, Commissioner Del Shelstad made a motion to table the resolution in order to take the request under advisement to which the board agreed. They plan to reconvene for discussion on the issue in 30 days.