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Fiona Simmons February 21, 2023 3 min read
South Dakota Kills Proposal to Let Voters Decide on Mobile Betting
The state saw a bill that have otherwise set in motion the regulation of online sports gambling fail to pass a floor vote in the House of Representatives
The bill would have expanded on the current regulatory makeup of the state which allows for in-person sports gambling concentrated in casinos in Deadwood and tribal casinos, which are currently the only options.
No Online Betting in South Dakota for a While
Mobile betting could significantly scale the sports betting activity in the state, as it would provide local fans and bettors with the added comfort of betting from any part of the state. To achieve this, special geofencing software would be introduced to verify that each transaction happens in-state.
But any changes to the legal makeup of sports betting in the state will now have to wait a while longer. The proposal sought to enable voters to weigh in on whether the state should legalize sports gambling further and expand it with an interactive option during the next general elections.
The bill similarly sought to address several problems that current legislation simply does not. While opponents of the law fear that mobile gambling would mean the end of Deadwood casinos for one, the proposal, backed by Rep. Greg Jamison, who is its primary sponsor, argues to the contrary.
If anything, says Jamison, the lack of mobile betting legislation is exacerbating problems, not helping fix them. His bill would have raised additional funds to help preserve historic Deadwood.
Blackmarket, Addiction and Lack of Clarity
He also alleges that there is a fair degree of black market gambling going online because punters still prefer to place a wager remotely rather than travel to a casino. Jamison clarified:
What’s happening in effect is that all these revenues are bypassing the state of South Dakota. This question I think is intended to bring those individuals back into compliance, let them enjoy the gaming that they would like and the revenues help go to the city of Deadwood.Rep. Greg Jamison
But others, such as Rep. John Mills, are concerned about what the expansion of gambling could mean for the state. In particular, Mills is worried about addiction issues among the population and argues that a WalletHUb.com study proves the soaring rates of addicts in the state.
Their number is put at anything between 15,000 and 20,000 young adults in South Dakota. Mills cautions. Yet, denying the problem is not the same as solving it – black market operations exist. They probably have to do with a fair degree of the rate of addiction as well.