Jackson, Wyoming, located in the northwest corner of the state, is one of the most picturesque resort destinations in the continental United States, as it is the gateway to both Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons mountain range. Interestingly, despite there being an almost infinite number of activities in the area for travelers and vacationers, gambling isn’t one of them. At least not yet. However, with the overturn of PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992), sports wagering could soon be coming to Wyoming, and the demand for Jackson sportsbooks could prompt the WY state government to expand its gaming regulations to make such a product a reality.
For the time being, however, the only Jackson sportsbooks that you’ll be able to use legally and safely are located on the Internet. These offshore sports betting sites – Bovada, SportsBetting, BetOnline, MyBookie, BetDSI, and BookMaker – have been accepting Jackson residents and customers from greater Wyoming for over a generation, and they all have solid reputations for offering robust betting boards, fair lines, valuable odds, and guaranteed payouts. Until the Wyoming legislature formally legalizes and regulates land-based sports wagering inside state borders, these books will remain your number-one destinations for all things sports betting.
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Is Sports Betting Currently Legal In Jackson?
Land-based sports betting is not currently legal in Jackson, Wyoming, as the state’s gambling regulations are fairly restrictive (which also explains the limited nature of casino gaming in the area). That said, this restriction does not apply to offshore sportsbooks that operate over the Internet. These books (Bovada, SportsBetting, MyBookie, etc.) are fully licensed, insured, and regulated by their home countries, but – since they exist wholly outside of US jurisdiction – they are not affected by Wyoming’s gambling laws, nor do US federal anti-gambling regulations have any power over them.
And like the federal laws, Wyoming’s gaming statutes – as shown in Title 7 of the state’s legal screed – apply only to unlicensed operators of casino games and other betting amusements. In other words, it is unlawful in Wyoming to offer a sportsbook, but it is 100% legal for WY residents to place bets at such books. (This was the same “sports betting loophole” that allowed such sites to exist in the days of PASPA, which was otherwise an explicit ban on sports gambling.) This is why online sportsbooks in Wyoming is unambiguously legal for residents, and it’s why those living in and around Jackson and Jackson Hole can freely wager as they please over the Internet.
Best Sportsbooks In Jackson
The best sportsbooks in Jackson, Wyoming, are those online books listed above. Bovada, BetOnline, SportsBetting, and the other top books serving the region are all free to join, and nearly 100,000 WY residents use these books each year to wager on their favorite teams, sports, players, and events. In fact, WY sports bettors turn an annual handle of close to $8 billion wagering on sports, and it is clearly in the state’s interest to move that action back to domestic, taxable businesses for the betterment of not only Wyoming’s local economy but also the state and tribal preservation of America’s grandest, most untouched natural landscape.
Once legal, land-based sports betting comes to WY (which is expected to take a few more years, given the state’s historical reticence to expand gaming inside its borders), the first books will most likely be established at existing tribal casinos and racino venues. However, it is conceivable that lottery-style sports wagering will also come to the Equality State, making the pastime available at any typical convenience store or gas station in Wyoming. For Jackson sports bettors, this would be convenient, as none of the state’s proper gambling destinations are centrally located to Jackson itself.
The closest casino to Jackson, Wyoming, is the Little Wind Casino in Arapahoe, some 155 miles southeast of Yellowstone. The Shoshone Rose Casino, located in Lander, WY, is also 155 miles to the southeast. However, both of these Class II tribal venues are small, non-resort-style destinations, making them largely not worth the trek for such a comparatively meager selection of slots and digital table games. Jackson residents want – and deserve – better options, and that’s why they overwhelmingly use online, offshore sportsbooks for their gambling needs.
Minimum Age To Bet At Jackson Sportsbooks
The minimum age to bet at Jackson sportsbooks is currently just 18 years old, which is how old all the top offshore sportsbooks require their members to be in order to sign up and start wagering on sports, casino games, and their online racebooks. Of course, 18 is also the legal age the state requires gamblers at physical casinos to be, and there’s no telling whether that age limit will change once land-based sports betting comes to Jackson, Wyoming. (In most states legalizing sports betting, the mandated default age minimum has been 21, though WY is not obligated to follow suit.)
- Little Wind Casino
- Address: 800 Blue Sky Hwy Arapahoe, WY 82510
- Phone: 307-438-7000
The Little Wind Casino in Arapahoe, WY, is situated in the middle of the Wind River Indian Reservation in Ethete, and though small, the venue does offer over 160 slot machines and electronic Class II games for gamblers looking to make a few bucks and enjoy a nice meal on their trek through the Wyoming wilderness. With the addition of a Little Wind sportsbook to the menu, of course, the site will naturally become much more trafficked going forward, which would be good not only for the thousands of avid sports bettors in and around Jackson, but also for the future endeavors of the area’s local tribes.
The Little Wind Casino facility, operated by the Northern Arapaho Tribe, has gotten some unfair and unflattering press of late, most notably due to the “high” crime rate on the Wind River Reservation. However, this has always been an isolated phenomenon that is strictly intertribal (as the reservation is actually shared by the Eastern Shoshone and the Northern Arapahoe, who are culturally and historically adversarial with one another). In other words, any guest to any Wind River gaming destination is perfectly safe and will always receive the best in personalized service and quality care.
Once sports wagering comes to the venue, Jackson residents making any southerly sojourn would be remiss to pass a Little Wind in their cars and trucks. So stop in, stretch the legs, have a nice meal, and win some gas money before moving on through. Who knows, you might even hit the jackpot and break a Little Wind!
- Shoshone Rose Casino
- Address: 5690 US Hwy 287
Lander, WY 82520
- Phone: 307-206-7000
The Shoshone Rose Casino – operated, as its name implies – by the Eastern Shoshone Tribe – is Wyoming’s newest casino venue, and they just recently opened their first hotel, making them one of only two proper hotel-casinos in the area. While not so much a full-scale resort (the Shoshone Rose only has 60 guest rooms, after all), the venue does feature a number of slot machines and Class II casino pastimes. And when the Shoshone Rose sportsbook opens for business, you can expect to find excellent, competitive lines (as their neighboring Arapaho competitors will be jockeying for position on the betting boards to offer the most attractive odds to potential customers).
While there might not be a great impetus for Jackson residents to drive 155 miles southeast just to wager at this relatively small venue, there is still plenty of traffic from incoming and outgoing visitors of Yellowstone National Park and the majestic Tetons to the north. As such, the Shoshone Rose makes for an excellent stopping point, letting travelers relax, enjoy a fine meal, and sleep in comfortable beds before continuing onwards.
As a pit stop, the Shoshone Rose is one of the most welcoming sights on the open roads of Wyoming. And as one of the most probable venues for a Jackson sportsbook, the hotel-casino could soon dramatically increase its draw, as well. Always bet on red!