It really is a good thing that sports betting is going to be legalized in Wyoming this year because otherwise Wyomingites may have had a revolt based on how high we rank on the list of the 'Most Gambling-Addicted States'.

WalletHub recently researched the 'Most Gambling-Addicted States' and as it turns out, Wyoming can hold its own with the high rollers near the top of the list. Wyoming finished 14th overall. So maybe that's not incredibly high, but cracking the top 15 is pretty impressive or maybe not-so-impressive based on your opinion of the concept of gambling. While it can be fun to place a wager every now and then, gambling addiction can also be a serious problem.

The research in the rankings was done by using determining factors such as the number of casinos, gaming machines, and highest lottery sales per capita, as well as the percentage of adults with gaming disorders. Wyoming also ranked 14th overall in 'gambling friendliness'. Meanwhile, just to our south, Colorado was ranked 16th overall. They already have legal sports betting there.

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Probably not-so-shocking was the fact that Nevada finished at the top of the list. When it's home to Las Vegas, that seems to be a given. Mississippi, South Dakota, Montana, and Louisiana followed Nevada to round out the top five gambling-addicted states. At the bottom of the list was Utah being the least gambling-addicted state.

Of course, with the Kentucky Derby coming up, this research seemed immediately relevant given the number of bets that are placed on that event each year. Of course, if you or someone you know has a gambling addiction, there are always resources to tap into to get help. In the meantime, good luck out there, Wyoming!

CLASSIC CHEYENNE: The Cole Shopping Center

In December of 2020, Blue Federal Credit Union completed its new headquarters at the corner of Converse and Pershing in Cheyenne. Well, it’s not so much a ‘corner’ as it is the smooth edge of a roundabout, but anyway. Before Blue FCU built its new campus, the site was at one time a premier shopping destination for Cheyenne. From the 1950s through 2016 it was Cheyenne's Cole Shopping Center.

Local businessman Frank Cole bought the land that would become a Cheyenne gathering place in the 1950s when the corner of Converse and Pershing was the edge of town. Starting in 1952, three different Safeway grocery stores called the Cole home over its half-century of existence.  A plethora of other stores served the neighborhood too. From the movie theater to Blockbuster; there was the Cole Department Store, the fabric store, the East Branch of the Carnegie Library, and so much more.

As Cheyenne grew and changed, the Shopping Center fell into decline. Stores closed and new ones didn't take their places. The anchor of the area, Safeway, closed for good in 2016 with much of the rest following. In 2018 the buildings were demolished and the new construction began. 

The Cole was so integral to the neighborhood that when we asked on social media for folks’ memories we were flooded with hundreds of responses. 

Check out many of those memories below, along with several pictures of the Cole Shopping Center, mostly from near the end in the twenty-teens.

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