In a recent bit of soul searching, legislatures in Wyoming are considering a pair of bills which would establish both a state lottery and legal protection for casual poker games.
As currently written, the state’s laws forbid even the regular home games that so many Americans know and love. Known as House Bill 188, this particular law would allow individuals with a “bona fide social relationship” to compete against one another in friendly poker matches. This would eliminate the threat of arrest faced by the state’s current playing populace.
As one of the longest standing Republican sanctuaries, Wyoming has long been opposed to legal gambling. No Democratic candidate for the presidency has managed to hold sway there since the 1964 election. With the power to control personal poker games now in the hands of county attorneys, the game has endured fickle status in recent years.
Next up for Bill 188 is a trip to the Wyoming House of Representatives. There, the merits of the potential law will be scrutinized and debated before earning the possibility of a vote.
On the lottery side of things is Bill 186, which marks lawmakers’ third such attempt in the last five years. Similar legislation was voted down in both 2007 and 2009, citing, among other things, a lack of population. With only 563,000 citizens living within its borders, the state’s government officials are concerned that the amount of money raised would be insufficient to create a worthwhile pot.
Bill 186 is slated for the same polishing process as its poker cousin, a process which should begin shortly.