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Sweetwater County approves plan for additional horse racing terminals

ROCK SPRINGS (WNE) — Sweetwater County commissioners approved a plan by Wyoming Downs LLC to add more historic horse racing terminals in Sweetwater County.

Wyoming Downs operates pari-mutuel simulcast wagering in the county and is seeking approval from the county as well as the Wyoming Gaming Commission to expand to new locations.

Eric Nelson and Jill Jarrard came before commissioners with the request at the Dec. 15 meeting.

In 2020, the Wyoming Legislature authorized skill-based amusement terminals to operate within Wyoming through June 30, 2021.

Wyoming Downs said it wants to add its terminals in the same places, such as bars, that offer skill-based games. In order to do so, it must receive approval from county governments and the Wyoming Gaming Commission.

During the public comments section of the Dec. 15 commission meeting, several operators of skill-based amusements expressed concern about commissioners giving “blanket” approval to historic horse racing terminals.

Sweetwater County Deputy Attorney John DeLeon said the concern was the lack of an end date on the resolution brought forth by Wyoming Downs. Before approving the resolution, commissioners added an end date of June 30, 2021.

Wyoming Downs representatives said in a letter that additional horse racing terminals will benefit the county as well as cities.

One percent of the amount wagered is split 50/50 between cities where terminals are located and the county.

Wyoming Downs is considering five to six new locations in Rock Springs and two to three in other towns in the county.

Next, the Wyoming Gaming Commission will have to review and vote whether or not to approve each new location within Sweetwater County.