Sports Betting Heads to Governor’s Desk in South Dakota

A sports betting bill is heading to South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem’s desk. The bill’s progress has caused a lot of excitement in the South Dakota gambling community. However, no mobile betting is included in the current legislation, which is disappointing for prospective bettors.
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History of Sports Betting in South Dakota

South Dakota has a gambling economy centered around tourism. The town of Deadwood has 25 casinos, but it’s located on the western border of South Dakota. In the November election, voters had the ability to legalize sports betting in Deadwood.

The voters overwhelmingly approved Deadwood sports betting which gave the legislature the right to create sports betting regulations in the area. There was an effort by some legislators to offer widespread mobile betting throughout South Dakota. However, this did not come to fruition during the legislative process.

The Sports Betting Bill, SB 44

SB 44 passed in the South Dakota House of Representatives on Thursday by a 58-8-4 vote. This result proves that the legislature is massively in favor of retail sports betting. The bill is now on Governor Noem’s desk for final approval. Noem, who is a Republican, is expected to sign the bill into law without any question.

When Governor Noem signs the bill into law, South Dakota will become the first state to legalize sports betting in the United States in 2021; however, it would only be legalized in Deadwood. Separate legislation is needed before statewide approval.

The House vote and the public vote followed similar trajectories when it came to large approval ratings.

The bill does not allow for online betting, which is one of many limitations on South Dakota sports betting. There will be no betting on South Dakota college teams, and there will also be limited prop betting on all collegiate athletics.

Sports betting providers will be taxed 9% on their gross adjusted revenue.
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Still No Mobile Sports Betting

Since Deadwood is located on the western border of South Dakota, sports betting will not be easily accessible to everyone in the state. The most recent effort to bring mobile betting to the state was rejected last week.

HB 1231, which would have allowed mobile betting, was voted down by the House Taxation Committee. This bill argued that mobile betting could be legalized if mobile servers went through Deadwood. Players would have to register in Deadwood, but they then would have been able to place mobile bets from anywhere in the state.

It’s believed that South Dakota residents are betting $30 million per month at Iowa casinos or offshore sportsbooks. This number did still not swing opinions in the legislature.

This news does not come at a good time because North Dakota is trying to legalize mobile sports betting. If this occurs, South Dakota will lose gamblers in the north to its border state.

North Dakota sports betting will be voted on in November 2022 if the Senate approves the bill. Therefore, there is still time for something to change in South Dakota, but it appears that mobile sports betting will not turn into a priority at any time soon.

Alex Payton is a sports betting writer that has a wide range of experience in the industry. He covers plenty of topics and never misses the chance to take the Louisville Cardinals.

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