South Dakota is looking to add mobile sportsbooks with Joint Resolution 502. South Dakota Sports betting is currently only available in-person in the city of Deadwood.

  • South Dakota has introduced Senate Joint Resolution 502, a resolution that would place state-regulated mobile sportsbooks on the ballot in 2022.
  • Mississippi is similarly looking to expand their sports betting industry to include mobile sportsbooks after introducing HB 184, which would authorize mobile sports betting.

PIERRE, S.D. – Voters of South Dakota may see the legalization and regulation of mobile sportsbooks on the 2022 midterm ballot if a recently-proposed constitutional amendment is approved.

South Dakota Introduces Senate Joint Resolution 502

The amendment, titled Senate Joint Resolution 502, was introduced by Senate Majority Whip Kyle Schoenfish on Tuesday.

The resolution states that “the Legislature shall authorize by law wagering on sporting events by individuals located within and outside the city limits of Deadwood, by means of a mobile or electronic platform, so long as the mobile or electronic platform has its servers located within the city limits of Deadwood.”

The amendment would build on a similar 2020 amendment that allowed the legislature to authorize retail sports betting, but only in the city of Deadwood. As a result of the approval of the 2020 amendment, state-regulated sports betting is currently only available in-person in Deadwood.

Resolution Places Sportsbook Servers In Deadwood

The provision of Joint Resolution 502 requiring the placement of the mobile servers inside Deadwood was likely an attempt to insulate the resolution from potential legal challenges, such as the District Court decision that led to the overturning of Florida’s tribal gaming compact.

Florida took a similar route, placing mobile sportsbook servers on Seminole lands in their most recent tribal gaming compact – District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich subsequently ruled that the compact violated the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act by placing the mobile servers on tribal lands but not requiring users to be physically located on tribal lands – as a result, the entirety of the gaming compact was nullified.

While the similarities between South Dakota’s recently-introduced bill and Florida’s tribal-gaming compact are concerning, there are enough differences in the two states’ legal landscapes (and in the documents themselves) that Judge Friedrich’s decision in Florida should not be a death sentence for South Dakota’s mobile sportsbooks.

Mississippi Introduces HB 184

South Dakota is far from the only state to be eagerly awaiting the regulation and launch of mobile sports betting – Mississippi’s legal sports betting industry is similarly awaiting the approval of state-regulated mobile sportsbooks.

Currently, online sports betting is only available in Mississippi when physically on-location at a licensed casino venue. So far, only two of these commercial venues offer mobile sportsbooks when on-location – the Beau Rivage Resort and Casino in Biloxi and the Gold Strike Resort and Casino in Tunica.

Mississippi’s sports bettors may not be limited to in-person sports betting for much longer, however; earlier in the legislative session, HB 184 was introduced, sponsored by Rep. Cedric Burnett. The bill, if successful, would create an online, legal sports betting market in Mississippi. It is currently awaiting action in the House Ways and Means and Gaming committees – the current legislative session in Mississippi runs until April 3.

The addition of state-regulated mobile sportsbooks can not come soon enough, as Mississippi’s December sports betting revenue figure decreased by 66% compared to November’s figure. Sports betting handle in December was also down 6.17% compared to November. A large portion of most states’ sports betting revenues and handles come from mobile sports wagering – the introduction of state-regulated mobile sportsbooks in Mississippi could make up the gap of lost revenue Mississippi is witnessing.

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