Wyoming Lottery

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Logo of the Wyoming Lottery Corporation, using the "WyoLotto" branding and showing the "Jackpotalope" mascot.

The Wyoming Lottery Corporation, branded as WyoLotto, began operation on July 1, 2013, in the United States state of Wyoming. On March 13, 2013, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead signed HB 77 into law; it authorizes the state to create a lottery, and enter into agreements with other lottery associations for multi-state games. It specifically prohibits scratchcards, instant win games, and video lottery terminals, joining the North Dakota Lottery as the only jurisdictions to prohibit scratch-off tickets. The lottery bill will sunset after six years, at which point it would need to be reauthorized to continue.[1] Operations will begin on August 24, 2014, after the lottery begins initial startup operations and 400 retailers which will sell tickets are identified.[2] The lottery law authorizes distribution of the first $6 million in annual revenue to cities and counties, and the remaining amount to schools. The state is projected to receive $9 million in revenue from the lottery. The decision to not allow scratch-off tickets is expected to severely restrict the projected revenue generated by the lottery, as 51% of national lottery revenue is derived from instant tickets. However, the governor justified the law by claiming that this would reduce the amount of out-of-state spending by Wyoming residents. The Colorado Lottery estimated that $1.26 million in annual revenue was generated by Wyoming residents purchasing tickets in Colorado.[3] Conversely, the Wyoming Lottery is expected to attract revenue from Utah, specifically the Salt Lake City metropolitan area, as Utah population centers are much closer to Wyoming than either Colorado or Idaho.[4]

Governor Mead expects that the lottery will join the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL), due to Wyoming's low population, although the law does not preclude Wyoming from offering in-state draw games. (North Dakota allows only multi-state games, such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and Hot Lotto.) Lottery bills had been rejected multiple times in Wyoming since the 1980s.[5] The legislation was modeled after the Georgia Lottery such that the board of directors answers to the governor, but is not a direct agency; and the North Dakota Lottery in its solicitation of multi-state lotteries, organization, and its low population.[6]

As with most U.S. lotteries, the minimum age to purchase a ticket will be 18.

Wyoming becomes the 44th state (plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands) to create a lottery. The states that have not approved a lottery are Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Mississippi, Nevada, and Utah.

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