Deadwood, SD

  • South Dakota’s sports betting market may be drowning with bans before the market has a chance to go live if a new bill being introduced passes in the South Dakota Legislature this session.
  • Senate Bill 44 prohibits quite a few things regarding legal sports wagering in the state with the biggest issue being no room for a future statewide mobile sportsbook expansion.

DEADWOOD, S.D.The South Dakota Legislature convened for its 2021 session on Tuesday and a new piece of legislation regarding legal sports betting being confined to the town of Deadwood may find its way to the floor.

In November, constituents voted yes on Constitutional Amendment B that would allow sportsbooks to open in the town of Deadwood. The vote came down to 239,620 in favor of legalizing sports wagering to 170,191 opposed.

The majority won out and the city of Deadwood was expected to launch retail sports betting venues this year. But some voters had hoped that this legalization would open the door to statewide mobile sportsbooks in the future which wouldn’t be the case should Senate Bill 44 come to pass as it would restrict all sports betting to the town of Deadwood.

Senate Bill 44

Before South Dakota has even launched their legal sports betting market, their hopes of an expansion are being dashed with the proposal of Senate Bill 44 that is being backed by the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee.

Under this bill, the South Dakota Commission on Gaming would be in charge of licensing locations in Deadwood to operate sportsbooks as well as the few Tribal locations that are eligible within the state to offer gambling on sporting events to their patrons.

But mobile sports betting platforms would be prohibited. Also banned within SD SB 44 is the wagering on any high school or minor league event as well as bets on college games or specific athletes affiliated with any college or university in South Dakota.

In addition to these bans, all licensed sportsbooks cannot accept wagers from employees or anyone in the sports betting business.

What’s Next For South Dakota

The pre-filed legislation is a tall order of bans for a market that many residents of the state were excited to legalize. Legal sports betting in South Dakota  would be a very strict industry if Senate Bill 44 were to pass as the structure would not allow for much wiggle room if it was to be approved as written.

This would likely put the Mount Rushmore State at a competitive disadvantage, allowing for minimal revenue to be made from an industry that has the potential to be a highly lucrative one given the chance to flourish.

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