South Dakota Sports Betting Bill Clears First Test In Comeback Try

Posted on February 11, 2020

The state legislature appears inclined to give it another go on a South Dakota sports betting bill.

The Senate passed Tuesday SJR 501 by a 24-10 margin. It will now move on to the House, where its prospects likely are not as strong. The resolution does enjoy 40 bipartisan sponsors between the two chambers.

The bill would create a ballot question in the upcoming election to legalize SD sports betting in Deadwood. The state constitution needs to be amended by popular vote to allow for legal sports betting in South Dakota.

SD sports betting language looks the same

Legal sports betting in South Dakota came close to becoming a reality in 2019. A nearly identical measure went before the legislature last year featuring the following language legalizing sports wagering:

Further, it shall be lawful for the Legislature to authorize by law, roulette, keno, craps, wagering on sporting events, limited card games and slot machines within the city limits of Deadwood. The entire net Municipal proceeds of such roulette, keno, craps, wagering on sporting events, card games, and slot machines shall be devoted to the Historic Restoration and Preservation of Deadwood.

Fiscal analysis by the South Dakota Legislative Research Council showed potential revenue of more than $2 million from SD sports betting. That could provide close to $200,000 to the designated coffers in the resolution.

What happened last year in SD sports betting?

The Senate narrowly passed SJR 2 in last year’s session. That proved to be the last positive step for South Dakota sports wagering, though.

A House committee gave a rude reception to the bill and chose not to issue a recommendation. An attempt to place the bill on the House calendar failed, and that ended any hope for legal sports wagering in 2019.

Tax distribution in last year’s bill broke down as follows:

  • State General Fund: $77,975
  • Tourism Promotion Fund: $65,663
  • Lawrence County: $ 16,416
  • City of Deadwood: $8,208
  • Municipals in Lawrence County: $8,208
  • School Districts in Lawrence County: $8,208
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Adam Candee

Adam Candee is the managing editor of Legal Sports Report. He covers sports business and news from Las Vegas, where he works as a sports radio host for ESPN and VSiN. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun, and KLAS-TV. He can be reached at [email protected]

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