South Dakota lawmakers will not be moving forward with legislation to legalize online sports betting in the state. Lawmakers will, however, try and pass a bill that would expand South Dakota sports betting beyond the city of Deadwood.
The new bill, Senate Bill 209, introduced by state Senator Ryan Maher, would not legalize online sports betting. The bill would simply open up more places in the state to offer in-person wagering.
New bill expands South Dakota sports betting
The amended section of the bill reads:
“Any sports wagering may only be conducted on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment as approved by the commission within the city of Deadwood or within the interior of a licensed affiliate business. Each operator that is authorized by the commission shall install and maintain equipment that is approved by the commission to ensure that all bets are placed on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment — within the city of Deadwood.”
The bill would allow any establishment with a license to serve liquor to apply for a license to offer sports wagering to customers. Such establishments outside of Deadwood would have to contract with a Deadwood casino that has a sports betting license.
Most likely, this betting activity would take the form of a self-service kiosk in bars, clubs, and restaurants throughout South Dakota. However, the bill faces an uphill climb similar to HJR 5006, which House lawmakers killed about a year ago.
Expansion of sports betting will be tough
HJR 5006 would have altered the state constitution to allow online sports betting had voters approved.
In 2019, lawmakers legalized sports betting that takes place in-person, which became available at a collection of casinos in Deadwood in 2021. That was a close vote, too, with 58% of the electorate supporting that constitutional amendment.
HJR 5006 sponsor, Republican Rep. Greg Jamison from Sioux Falls, said the state is losing money to neighboring Iowa.
“[South Dakotans] put it in boxes and drag it to a bank and spend it on Iowans,” Jamison said.
Opponents of sports betting said the state has the country’s second or third-highest gambling addiction rate.
Republican Rep. John Mills said male gamblers often run up debts between $55,000 and $90,000, and women frequently incur debts from gaming of around $15,000.
Mills added he was “ashamed of the state for its reliance on gambling.”