South Dakota Sports Betting Rules Approval Line Up September Launch

Posted on July 20, 2021
South Dakota sports betting
Posted By on July 20, 2021

South Dakota sports betting should be on track to launch in time for football season after the South Dakota Commission on Gaming approved a detailed set of rules last week.

South Dakota legislators are scheduled to sign off on the SD sports betting rules August 2. The rules are for on-premise bets at casinos in the city of Deadwood.

A meeting to approve sports wagering license providers, and possibly the sports catalog, is set for September 8, according to Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. Rodman said the new goal for launch is September 9, just off the original September 1 goal.

“I think we’re looking at September 9 as the official start date,” Rodman told LSR Wednesday. “That all has to happen first, but that’s our new target date. … Everybody was in a positive mindset to get it done.”

Rules approved for South Dakota sports betting

Wednesday’s hearing and approval adds to a set of rules approved by a legislative committee in June. The meeting went nearly all day as the committee went through line-by-line and made small “style and form” changes, Rodman said.

The first rules set up the base regulations. Those included adding sports betting to the list of authorized gaming and setting up record keeping and surveillance processes.

The 115-page document approved Wednesday adds much more detail, including internal control procedure requirements, authorized events, and wager types.

Deadwood casinos prepare for launch

License applications opened July 1, with a $5,000 application fee.

Rodman told the Black Hills Pioneer he expects 10 properties to take bets this fall. Casinos are “Vegas-style” sports betting areas with walls of TVs, lounge chairs and premium sports TV packages.

“What we’re seeing right now is the investments by some of the gaming properties in town for their sports wagering lounges,” Rodman told the outlet. “There are some significant investments being made.”

Surge for remote town

South Dakota residents voted to allow Deadwood sports betting in November 2020.

For the time being, bets are restricted to within casino properties in the city. When the legislation initially passed, there appeared to be possible loopholes to allow for statewide mobile. Rodman said there are preventative measures in place to prevent any betting off casino property and is not sure any will offer a mobile option.

“The rules allow for [on-premise mobile], I’ll be curious if any jump onto that,” he said. “South Dakota is a pretty conservative state, so we have a go slow approach. Maybe sometime in the future we’ll see statewide mobile. We have to prove ourselves in Deadwood and do a good job.”

An Oxford Economics study found the gaming expansion could result in a $22.1 million increase in overall gaming revenue, including $6.1 million directly from sports wagers.

Setting up South Dakota sports betting

Legislators jumped into action to enact voter wishes at the beginning of the 2021 legislative session.

Gov. Kristi Noem signed sports betting legislation in March, and the law went into effect July 1.

Under federal laws, the state’s 11 tribal casinos can also offer sports betting in SD, pending an amended state compact.

Upper Midwest betting boom

South Dakota’s legalization continues to fill out a rapidly expanding map of states that allow sports betting.

Mobile Wyoming sports betting should launch this fall, while legislators legalized retail sports betting in Nebraska this year.

Neighboring states Montana and Iowa also allow sports betting.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Las Vegas-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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