South Dakota Could See State-Wide Sports Betting

Three states, including South Dakota, will be voting on whether or not to legalize sports betting next on November 3 election. The primary focus is to make available retail sportsbooks in Deadwood, with mobile sports betting not on the agenda.

Currently, 22 states have regulated sports betting in some form.

The other two states besides South Dakota are Louisiana and Maryland. None of the votes in any of these three states will lead to sports betting launching in the foreseeable future. The voter in these states will be asked a simple YES or NO, and the legislature will be expected to take further action accordingly.

South Dakotans Will Be Asked A Different Question

South Dakota’s referendum is slightly different from the other two states. The Mount Rushmore State is proposing an amendment to the state’s statute to add sports betting to the games authorized within Deadwood. However, the state’s attorney general clarified that sports betting would be allowed outside of the city.

“Under federal law, any gaming allowed by the legislature to be offered in Deadwood would also be allowed at on-reservation tribal casinos upon amendments to existing tribal gaming compacts.”

There are nine tribal groups in the area, and they are looking to regulate sports betting. If sports betting approves in South Dakota, tribes will be following suit in their 11 casinos in the state.

When Will Sports Betting be Available in South Dakota?

If approved, the state legislature will be authorized to enact a law devising a sports betting framework. If legislation is passed, the lawmakers would then prepare rules and regulations aimed at defining how sports betting in South Dakota should look like.

The next legislative session is scheduled to commence in January 2021, so like Maryland and Louisiana, the South Dakota sports betting could see the light of the day by the start of the next NFL season.

What Could South Dakota Sports Betting Look Like?

It is likely that non-gaming businesses could take wagers outside of Deadwood if state lawmakers decide so. It will open up the chances for sports betting, both retail and online, to be available across South Dakota. However, currently, Deadwood would be the focus for sports betting and would serve as the sole place in the state that would take legal bets. Tribal groups would also be authorized to offer sports betting at their establishments due to their tribal gaming laws.

It could be a long path to legal sports betting in South Dakota, considering that in the past lawmakers were reluctant to get sports betting on the 2020 ballot. If the residents vote yes to sports betting on November 3, lawmakers will have to decide the regulations of the proposed bill, which would take considerable time to finalize the process.

Experts believe the legislative process, including heated debates, could drag the bill to the passing stage until the 2021 football season returns.

What’s the Objective on Election Day?

On election day, the betting enthusiasts want to see the “yes” vote dominate on the ballot to legalize sports betting. There was a massive campaign for regulated sports betting in Deadwood, with $120,000 being raised to support the “yes” campaign.

However, nothing can change unless lawmakers votes to legalize sports betting in South Dakota. The small population of the state is 50/50 split on whether sports betting should be legalized in South Dakota. Even the legislature was reluctant to send the bill for a referendum, as after failing in 2019, the bill scarcely passed in 2020.

Deadwood would be the place for sports betting where commercial casinos are located in the state. However, there is support for expanding sports betting beyond Deadwood and allowing mobile betting, but all this will ultimately depend on the lawmakers.

If sports betting gains the majority “yes” vote tomorrow, the ball will be in the South Dakota lawmakers again.

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