South Dakota Governor Signs Sports Betting Legislation

Deadwood and tribal casinos could launch sports betting in September, since South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem (l.) recently signed sports wagering legislation.

South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill 44 on March 18, legalizing sports betting in Deadwood and at tribal casinos.

Afterward, Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director Mike Rodman said, “It’s a big day for Deadwood and our next step now is to work with the South Dakota Commission on Gaming to promulgate the rules. We’ll be working through the process with the hope that we will be able to offer sports wagering by September 1.”

Rodman said he expects commissioners to have draft rules ready by their June 16 meeting. “The gaming commission reiterated their commitment to work to get those in place as quickly as possible, but wanting to make sure they are the right rules to have the appropriate sports wagering for South Dakota,” Rodman said.

The gaming commission already has met in Deadwood to work on the draft rules, following voters’ approval last November of a constitutional amendment legalizing sports betting at Deadwood casinos via sportsbooks, kiosks or a mobile app.

Two other sports gambling bills were killed in committee earlier in the session. HB1211 would have allowed a business with a liquor license to have a betting kiosk connected to a Deadwood casino. HB1231 would have allowed sports betting from an electronic device anywhere in the state.

Rodman said most Deadwood casinos are planning to offer sports gambling and several are planning to renovate and expand to accommodate sports betting lounges. “They’re making some major investments in making sure sports wagering is successful here in Deadwood,” he stated.

The Deadwood Gaming Association expects sports wagering to produce more than $22 million in additional gaming revenue and $2.2 million in additional gaming taxes. It’s also expected to create 150 new jobs with $6.1 million in additional income.

Rodman said sports betting could launch in September, coinciding with the start of the National Football League season, which attracts the most sports bettors. “We certainly want to catch as much as that football season as possible. We think that’s probably the earliest and we’re going to work as hard as we can to catch as much of that football as we possibly can.”

And since Noem signed the bill in March, Rodman added, “March Madness would be incredible for Deadwood. Deadwood is really excited to get a piece of that action. We’re looking forward to when we’re able to have those live, legal sports wagers for March Madness next year.”