Wyoming Attorney General Declares ‘Skill Games’ Illegal Gambling
Wyoming Attorney General Peter Michael has declared so-called "skill games" found in some establishments across the state to be illegal gambling devices.
"At the request of law enforcement officials, I was asked to evaluate whether the electronic games manufactured by Banilla Games are illegal under Wyoming law," Michael said in a statement Tuesday. "These machines are illegal gambling devices under Wyoming law. Those who play them are engaged in gambling, which is a crime in Wyoming, and those who provide the games are engaged in professional gambling, which is also a crime in Wyoming."
Michael's legal opinion does not impact "historic horse racing" terminals at pari-mutuel off-track betting locations. Those terminals are explicitly permitted under Wyoming law.
Similarly, the opinion does not affect tribal gaming operations on the Wind River Indian Reservation.
"Because gambling in Wyoming is a crime, not a civil violation, local law enforcement officials and prosecutors will need to determine the timing of the appropriate next steps if their communities have these machines," Michael said.
Sgt. Aaron Shatto of the Natrona County Sheriff's Office says his agency will reach out to local businesses and notify them that the machines need to be removed in order to bring the businesses into compliance with state law.
Wyoming Amusement, the company that owns a number of the machines including several in Casper, did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Neither did Banilla Games, the Greenville, North Carolina-based manufacturer.