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Heidi Specter January 28, 2019 3 min read
South Dakota’s Attempts at Legal Sports Betting Renewed
South Dakota is again considering legalizing its sports betting industry, or in the very least, a group of senators are pushing ahead with a new plan passed in Senate.
South Dakota’s Sports Betting Efforts Continue
Senators from South Dakota have put forth a new amendment in a bid to legalize sports betting in the state. Known as Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2), the backers are looking into ways to amend the state’s Constitution to make it legal for the state to accept wagers on sport events at designated venues.
Specifically, the SJR 2 has Deadwood in mind, with the city becoming a stepping-stone for the future expansion of the industry in the state. Plans to regulate the industry in South Dakota began well before the turn of the year. Financial prospects also seem decent:
Deadwood is a $100 million gaming market that could realize between $1 million and $2 million in annual sports betting” – DGA Mike Rodman cited by Grand Forks Herald
However, the state’s Legislative Research Council estimates that the introduction of sports betting wouldn’t be a huge money maker for South Dakota, cited by the Associated Press (AP).
No details about the exact nature of the Resolution, other than the fact that it intends to amend to the state’s Constitution so as to allow sports betting, were fully announced. The SJR 2 will seek support from voters in the state during the next general elections in 2020, effectively holding a referendum on whether sports betting can be legal in South Dakota.
Based on the published information, the amendment specifically looks into opportunities to expand to other forms of gambling, including lotteries, as well as “games of chance”. Interestingly enough, the bill suggests that the state would be in control of any lotteries, either as the sole proprietor of such activities, or together with another state.
However, in light of the Department of Justice proposed re-interpretation of the Wire Act, it’s unlikely to see lotteries run across state borders.
Another part of the SJR 2 specifies that certain organizations, such as charities and educational institutions can also offer games of chance, with the proceedings going directly to support the activities of the aforementioned.
Overall, the amendment is supported by 11 senators and 16 representatives, an impressive legal backing that could potentially see SJR 2 voted and signed into law.
South Dakota’s Annual Sports Betting Revenue
Deadwood already supports certain form of gambling, such as poker, blackjack and slot machines, but what is needed now, the Deadwood Gaming Association (DGA) believes, is for the state to introduce sports betting as a legal part of the overall gaming client.
According to DGA Executive Director Mike Rodman, Deadwood is a sweet spot for would-be sports betting in the state, as locals show interest in multiple sporting events, including the Super Bowl, Sweet 16, Major League Baseball World Series, college football contests and more.
“The industry could bring annually between $1 million and $2 million,” Mr. Rodman said cited by Grand Forks Herald.
Tribes representatives, including Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe attorney Seth Pearman has said that legalizing sports betting could be beneficial to the Royal River Casino tribal casino.
“It would diversify the gaming opportunities for patrons, would positively impact their experience overall, and would keep them from leaving the area to legally place wagers,” Mr. Pearman concluded during an interview with Grand Forks Herald.