South Dakota mobile sports betting bill moves forward, but hurdles remain

Posted: February 2, 2022, 7:01 a.m.

Last update on: February 2, 2022, 07:01h.

South Dakota sports betting is currently limited to retail sports betting at Deadwood Gaming Lounges and Tribal Casinos. Legislation introduced in 2022 which has already found support in a Senate committee aims to extend such gambling to online channels.

South Dakota Sportsbook Casino Deadwood
A historical marker in South Dakota commemorating the location on Deadwood Main Street where Jack McCall, who shot and killed Wild Bill Hickok the day before, was arrested on August 2, 1876. Sports betting is permitted in Deadwood, but an effort government to develop online sports betting is underway. (Image: Shutterstock)

Senate Resolution 502 would authorize land-based sports betting to facilitate remote betting for bettors in South Dakota. The law would require that sports betting computer servers used to facilitate electronic betting be housed within the city limits of Deadwood or within the sovereign territory of a tribe.

The resolution narrowly passed the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee yesterday by a 5-4 vote. The state’s proposed constitutional amendment now heads to the full Senate for further consideration.

Upcoming Obstacles

South Dakota is bordered by six states. Five have passed laws allowing sports betting, but only Iowa and Wyoming have approved online betting. Proponents of Senate Resolution 502 say it’s time to keep mobile sports betting money flowing in these two states.

We see Iowa siphoning off money all the time for sports betting,” Seth Pearman, an attorney representing the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, told the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee ahead of its vote.

Pearman added that in states where mobile sports betting is legal, about 80% of the management is facilitated online. He says adding mobile books to sports betting would help casinos and sports betting operators protect the large physical investments they have made in the state.

Not everyone agrees, however, and some wonder why the legislature is spearheading gambling change. Residents have the power to initiate constitutional amendments through the collection of signatures.

While a comprehensive constitutional amendment requires a petitioner to collect signatures from registered voters equal to ten percent of the total vote for governor in the last gubernatorial election, a petition to change an existing state law — like the state’s sports betting bill already on the books — only five percent of the previous governor’s vote is needed.

South Dakota Department of Revenue Assistant Secretary David Wiest said the company should be started by the people — not lawmakers. If lawmakers seek to change the law, Wiest argues that they, too, should show the state adequate support for the motion by collecting signatures.

“They have to circulate petitions for signatures like everyone else,” Wiest said.

South Dakota gives state lawmakers the power to initiate constitutional changes as well, but without mandatory signature-gathering stipulations. If a resolution passes both legislative houses by a simple majority, the question goes to the voters where a three-fifths super-majority is required for its passage.

Game saturation

Along with the state revenue department’s view that the public – not politicians – should drive the sports betting amendment, others have voiced their opposition to more accessible gambling. .

I think we really need to stop and think before we add another fundamentally addictive way to play in this state so people can do it in the back of convenience stores and gas stations while their families starve themselves. money spent on this 2.0 video lottery,” said Rep. Scott Odenbach (R-Spearfish).

Deadwood casinos are required to pay a license fee of $5,000 for sports betting privileges, with annual renewals set at $2,000. Gross sports betting income is subject to a 9% tax. The sports betting expansion resolution does not specify whether potential online sports betting revenue would be taxed more, as is the case in most states that have legal in-person and online betting.

About Kristopher Harris

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