The basics of Wisconsin gambling laws are similar to laws in other states. If you’re planning to gamble in Wisconsin, you’ll have plenty of opportunities, mostly at tribal casinos.
Wisconsin Gambling Laws
Besides a strange detail, Wisconsin gambling laws are similar to the standard US gambling laws. Betting is described as “a bargain in which the parties agree that, dependent upon chance even though accompanied by some skill, one stands to win or lose something of value specified in the agreement.” Wisconsin gambling laws don’t specify gambling itself, but the above definition of betting can apply to all forms of gambling.
Apart from some specific exceptions, gambling is illegal in Wisconsin and categorized as Class B misdemeanor. A unique addition to Wisconsin gambling laws is the criminalization of the intent. Whoever “enters or remains in a gambling place with intent to make a bet, to participate in a lottery, or to play a gambling machine” is guilty of Class B misdemeanor. Such misdemeanors are punishable by a fine up to USD 1,000, not more than 90 days in jail, or both.
Based on these outlines, some might think that there’s no gambling in Wisconsin. However, as in most states, there are some exceptions to these laws. This means that establishments holding a license can conduct gambling and Wisconsinites can legally play there. Currently, there are 23 tribal gambling establishments, offering various types of games. Based on their license, tribal casinos might provide even Class III gaming, such as electronic games of chance, table and poker games.
During the 2000’s there were some efforts to legalize commercial gambling in Wisconsin, but all of them failed. Horserace and greyhound race betting remains legal, but this is not among the most popular pastimes of Wisconsinites. Similarly to other US gambling laws, Wisconsin allows for charitable gambling, with a strict framework for the conduction of these games.
Online Gambling in Wisconsin
There’s no legally conducted online gambling in Wisconsin. Wisconsin gambling laws don’t specify online gambling, but the general definitions are enough to cover this way of gaming as well. Based on US gambling news and experts, this approach to online gambling in Wisconsin will not change in the future.
Lotteries in Wisconsin
The Wisconsin Lottery started in 1988 and it paid out USD 6,4 billion in prizes so far. It provided more than USD 11,4 billion in revenues to the state. The revenues go towards the prizes, operational expenses and the funding for property tax credits. Wisconsin is part of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Therefore, residents can participate in Powerball and other inter-state lotteries. Wisconsin lottery tickets are available at licensed resellers. It’s important to note that there are no licensed online lottery ticket resellers.
Daily Fantasy Sports in Wisconsin
The debate about daily fantasy sports in Wisconsin escalated in 2016. The topic of discussion is Assembly Bill 800, which would amend certain statues and allow for the regulation of daily fantasy sports in Wisconsin. If it becomes a law, daily fantasy sports sites would be required to pay a registration fee of USD 150,000 to the state. Furthermore, they would need to agree to regulations. By breaching those their licenses could be revoked and they could be fined for USD 1,000.
Click here for a detailed description of Wisconsin gambling laws and statutes.