Sports betting was legalized in South Dakota in November of 2020. However, it was brought to the state in a very limited format.
Now, legislatures are trying to include mobile sports betting in 2021.
The 2020 Referendum Bill
The South Dakota sports betting bill that was passed in November of 2020 was limited. This bill didn’t do much to implement sports betting. The 2021 legislative session will be the deciding factor on the state’s sports betting framework.
In 2020, the legislature passed a referendum bill that gave state voters the power to decide if the government could amend the South Dakota Constitution. This amendment would allow sports betting in the city of Deadwood.
State voters passed this referendum bill in November. The beginning of the 2021 SD legislative session has begun, and the future sports betting layout in the state has started to develop.
Legislatures are going to try to expand sports betting throughout the state in the form of mobile gambling.
Initial Mobile Sports Betting Attempts 2021
The language in the 2020 sports betting referendum bill created a loophole for the form of gambling. The bill states that sports betting can only occur in Deadwood.
However, if the mobile sports betting servers are present in Deadwood, some legislators believe that mobile gaming could take place throughout the state.
This idea could be a stretch, but legislators have started the process to make this belief a reality through the legislative process. The Committee on Commerce and Energy proposed SB 44 at the beginning of the 2021 legislative session.
This bill introduced the idea that online sports betting could take place if mobile servers were located in Deadwood.
Additionally, tribal nations would be impacted by SB 44. When sports betting is legalized in Deadwood, tribal casinos throughout the state will also be allowed to offer the form of gambling.
Therefore, tribal nations would also be permitted to offer mobile betting if servers were kept on property.
Mobile Betting Issues Still Present in South Dakota
The 2020 bill may have had a loophole in the language, but issues still apply to mobile betting in the state of South Dakota. First off, a sports betting bill still has to be passed that legalizes mobile betting.
If the legislature can’t find a majority of officials to support mobile sports betting, the form of gambling will be limited to retail locations in Deadwood and within tribal casinos.
Another issue would apply to account registration. South Dakota is a vast state.
The 2020 referendum bill required registration to take place in person at a Deadwood retail sportsbook. Deadwood sits on the western border of South Dakota. This is a very difficult drive from the eastern portion of the state.
It’s much easier for people in the eastern part of South Dakota to bet in Iowa. Iowa doesn’t require in-person registration, so South Dakota residents simply have to drive across the border to register on their mobile devices.
Even if the South Dakota state legislature finds a way to pass mobile sports betting in 2021, this doesn’t mean that everyone in the state will have easy access to the online market.