Sports betting could be on the 2020 ballot in South Dakota.

  • Sports betting could be on the ballot in 2020 for voters to choose whether or not it should become legal in the city of Deadwood.
  • If it is voted into legalization, Tribal businesses will also be allowed to open sportsbooks.
  • The state’s lottery would work in conjunction with the sports wagering market should legalization occur.

DEADWOOD, S.D. – The topic of legalizing sports betting in South Dakota has been put back on the table for the town of Deadwood. On February 7, a public hearing was held to speak on what voters wanted in terms of legal sports wagering for the city.

With five YEAS and two NAYS, the idea was passed to be heard again by the Senate for a date not yet scheduled on the calendar. The votes by Senate would make it possible for sports betting to make it onto the 2020 ballot.

Gambling On Sports In South Dakota

Governor Kristi Noem has changed her tune toward legal sports wagering in South Dakota. While her administration remained silent during the hearing, her stance on the issue has done a complete 180 from where it was last year.

Noem prohibited sports betting to be put on the ballot in 2019. However, this year, the new revenue stream that would come from the market could be very helpful for the state of South Dakota.

To make the pastime legal, it would require an amendment to the Constitution. This is not as farfetched as it would be in other states as South Dakota has already made amendments to their Constitution before when it’s come to gaming.

In 1986, voters were in favor of a change that would allow for the lottery to be established. Two years later, the city of Deadwood was given the go-ahead by voters to begin offering casino games, which In turn allowed Tribal businesses the same opportunity.

Senate Joint Resolution 501 was passed during the hearing. This means that once again the fate of gaming in the state is in the hands of its residents. If the people vote for the legalization of sports betting for the town of Deadwood, that would become a stepping stone for statewide legalization in the years to come.

The vote would make retail sports wagering legal but could later open up a mobile platform as well as kiosks for self-service gambling. The public would also have a say in what sports should be wagered on. If the city of Deadwood becomes legal, it automatically allows the Tribes in the Mount Rushmore State to allow sportsbooks at their locations as well.

“The competition around us with Iowa starting in August, last month in November they did fifty-six million dollars’ worth of sports wagering,” said Mike Rodman, the Executive Director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. “It’s very clear that people have the opportunity to legally bet on sports, they want to do that and we just want to give our customers here in South Dakota that same opportunity.”

Millions of dollars in potential revenue could be seen from the market and help the economy of the state immensely. Governor Noemi is already setting the table for legalization by allowing for it to appear on the 2020 ballot and is also having the state lottery board run with fewer employees, leaving spots open for a sports betting market.

Both would be regulated the same so both could be on the same committee.

In doing so, she would not have to hire more government officials as those seats already existed, a promise she made to the people when running for Governor.

This would show the people of South Dakota that she keeps her word for any future campaigns. The revenue from sports betting would also stop the need to raise taxes which is another thing she told voters she would not do.

South Dakotans may very well see the topic on the ballot in 2020. If they vote in favor of it, things can begin to take motion for legal sports betting in 2021 for Deadwood.

“If the voters approved it, then we would go back to the 2021 legislature and they would promulgate the rules for it and put the parameters in at that point in time and then we would able to start doing sports wagering July first of 2021,” said Rodman.

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