South Dakota Voters Could Decide on Future of Mobile Sports Betting

  • By
  • Published
  • Est. 3 minutes

While other states are rushing to adopt mobile betting legislation, South Dakota’s lack of it is costing its residents and the state’s gaming industry. This is according to supporters of new legislation that would place the issue of statewide mobile betting on the ballot in the latter part of the year. Currently, sports betting is only allowed at retail establishments in Deadwood.

Mobile Sports Betting Talk in South Dakota

Representative Will Mortenson is one of the lawmakers who support Senate Joint Resolution 502 (SJR 502) in the state House. This proposal, which would send another Constitutional Amendment to voters in this year’s general election, would see the Legislature authorize South Dakota mobile sports betting as long as it is conducted through a licensed casino in Deadwood.

Mortenson asserts, “The voters approved sports betting, but we’re denying it to the vast majority of them because of a technicality. We need to send this back to the voters and let people bet on the Super Bowl without being criminals.”

Tuesday morning, the Senate Commerce and Energy committee approved the measure, 6-5.

Limited Options in the State

South Dakota voters approved Amendment B in 2020. This legalized sports betting in the city of Deadwood. However, to be able to wager on a sporting event, one must physically be present at a Deadwood gambling property.

DraftKings, FanDuel and BetMGM offer the possibility to place sports bets via a mobile app or website. However, they are illegal in South Dakota.

However, not allowing mobile betting in Deadwood hinders the state’s ability to cash in on an industry that is growing and being supported by the majority of the country, according to Senator Kyle Schoenfish.

He cites Iowa and Wyoming as two neighboring states that are reaping big returns from allowing their residents to place sports bets using their phones, no matter where they may be located.

According to PlayIA.com, Iowa had more than $2 billion in wagers on sporting events between 2021 and 2021. Schoenfish stated that the state’s biggest metropolitan area is located within 10 miles of Iowa. It’s possible some of those dollars were sourced from South Dakotans.

Resistance Likely at the Highest Level

SJR 502 will likely face opposition from some political groups that support social conservatism as it passes through the Legislature. It will also find a huge obstacle at the top of the ladder.

Ian Fury, a spokesperson for Governor Kristi Noem, stated that the governor opposed the bill. In a written response to the Argus Leader, he said, “Gov. Noem is not in favor of expanding gambling in South Dakota. She is focused on building stronger families, and expanding gambling is not conducive to that.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.