Deadwood working to legalize sports betting

DEADWOOD, S.D. — In 2018 the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a nationwide ban on sports betting — giving states the power to decide for themselves whether to allow it. Sports betting is still illegal in South Dakota, but a bill in Pierre could change that.

The Deadwood Gaming Association is working with the legislature to create an amendment to the state constitution, legalizing sports betting.

If passed, it will be on the ballot in November for voters to decide its fate.

For a gaming hub such as Deadwood, this resolution can be a game changer.

“We look at sports wagering as just another tool in our tool box for Deadwood, we want to keep Deadwood competitive as a destination,” said Mike Rodman, Executive Director of the Deadwood Gaming Association.

Within the next couple of months, sports wagering will become legal in several surrounding states — including Iowa and Montana.

There are concerns about whether or not that will direct tourism to those states, and whether it will affect tourism right here in South Dakota.

“Sports wagering lifts overall the revenue stream for those destinations, more hotel stays, more restaurant visits, more gaming overall,” said Rodman.

So far, the resolution passed in the Senate 24 to 10 and has yet to go through the House.

If passed it is expected to create significant economic growth by making Deadwood a year-round destination.

Sports betting may help bring people in for major sporting events that happen during the tourism off-season, such as the Superbowl.

“We want to give the citizens of South Dakota the opportunity to place their sports wagers in a safe, legal, and regulated environment,” said Rodman.

Categories: Politics & Elections, South Dakota News

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