South Dakota Capital

  • Lawmakers in South Dakota have passed the new sports betting bill in the House and Senate.
  • The bill, SB 44 is now awaiting approval from Governor Kristi Noem.
  • The bill only allows for retail sportsbooks in Deadwood.

DEADWOOD, S.D. – Sports betting fans in the Mount Rushmore State could see a regulated sports betting market soon as a sports betting bill has passed the Senate and House voting stages.

The next step is getting approval from Governor Kristi Noem as the bill now resides on the governor’s desk.

The bill approves only retail South Dakota sports betting in the casino town of Deadwood.

South Dakota Sports Betting Incoming

SB 44 is the sports betting bill in question. It is the only one of three bills filed to survive in the recent legislative session.

The House successfully passed the bill to a 58-8-4 vote. With this, sports betting can launch in Deadwood casinos once the Governor gives the final stamp of approval.

The South Dakota Commission on Gaming would be in charge of the legal sports betting market in South Dakota, and the tax revenue will be used towards preserving the historic Deadwood.

The new bill would make Mount Rushmore State the cheapest market to launch, having only a $2,000 permit fee.

Deadwood casinos would see a 9% tax on all sports betting revenue, and local collegiate games played in South Dakota will be barred from sportsbooks to be wagered on. Online sports betting was not a part of the sports betting bill. No mobile sportsbooks will be able to launch in South Dakota at this time.

If Gov. Noem does indeed sign this bill and in the future, lawmakers want to bring forth a regulated mobile betting market, an amendment would have to occur with bill SB 44.

There is optimism for the bill signing, however, Gov. Noem has in the past been opposed to the practice, making some lawmakers nervous about her vetoing the bill.

“I’m not in favor of expansion of gambling in the state of South Dakota. And I look through that lens at any legislation that puts something else on the table for discussion,” said  Noem in 2019 on sports betting. “Our early indications are pretty clear that opening up state sports gambling to the public could end up costing us more than the actual revenue it would bring in. And so that’s a real concern for me. The juice isn’t worth the squeeze.”

It is possible her tune has changed since then, as the global pandemic has led to major losses for every state, more states have decided to approve and launch legal sports betting who were initially opposed. Also, South Dakota voters approved sports betting in Deadwood on their November 2020 ballot, so it would be a shock for the Governor not to follow through after the referendum vote.

South Dakota betting fans will have to wait and see if the bill is signed by the Governor.

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