• Defending the WYOMING Way of Life

Current Issues

Here at the WPPC, we strive to remain vigilant in our role as Wyoming public policy watchdog. Topics on our radar include opposing the expansion of government control and unnecessary government regulation of free markets while still ensuring the safety of our citizens through appropriate application of law and order activities, preventing government officials from getting too comfortable in the offices we pay for, ensuring appropriate land and water use, defending against intrusion on our Constitutional rights, protecting our religious liberty, and similar issues as they arise.

For the 2019 Legislative Session, the WPPC was particularly focused on the government-led expansion of gambling across the state, which would have created unnecessary new governmental bureaucracy to regulate popular activities like bingo and calcutta wagering, while inviting an increase in crime by placing video slot machines in any bar, restaurant, truck stop, and convenience store that wants them — all without any discernible benefit to the people of Wyoming.

This effort was defeated in both the House and the Senate, but the topic has been revitalized as one of the top priorities for the 2019 Interim session, with new legislation likely to be introduced for consideration in the 2020 Budget session.  Thus, we have revitalized our efforts to oppose this overreach by the state government and to instead support the status quo.

GOVERNMENT OVERREACH & PUBLIC SAFETY RISK

During the 2019 legislative session, we were pleased that the Wyoming legislature defeated a bill in the Senate to create a new Gaming Commission that would regulate gambling statewide (bingo, pull-tabs, calcutta events, and video slot machines) as well as a companion House bill specifically focused on regulating the expansion of video slot machines to truck stops, liquor and convenience stores, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs around the state.  The Senate bill died in committee on a 1-4 vote, while the House bill was defeated 17-42 on the floor.

However, even in the face of these resounding defeats, the supporters of expanding government to legalize, tax, inspect, enforce, and regulate new gaming activities around the state are back at it again!  During the 2019 Interim period, the Travel, Recreation, and Wildlife (TRW) committee has placed Gaming Regulation on their agenda as the #1 topic of investigation!  The TRW committee has scheduled three separate hearings in various locations around the state during 2019 to take testimony and explore ways to reincarnate their failed 2019 effort.  Their stated intent is to produce a new version of the failed 2019 legislation to be considered during the 2020 Budget Session in January and February.

We believe the current gaming environment is appropriate for Wyoming and is regulated at an appropriate level of governmental involvement to ensure the safety and rights of the citizens of our great state.  We are opposed to new legislation that will introduce additional regulation, restrict gambling further, or expand it.  The legislature’s 2019 decision was proper and correct.

Very simply, we support the status quo and encourage legislators to respect the 2019 vote and leave this issue on the cutting room floor for 2020.

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