Deadwood Sportsbooks Could Be Live Sept. 9, In Time For NFL Week 1 Betting

Posted By Russ Mitchell on July 22, 2021 - Last Updated on July 29, 2021

It will be a tight timeline, but South Dakota regulators could approve Deadwood sports betting licenses just in time for NFL betting season.

That’s according to the Deadwood Gaming Association executive director Mike Rodman.

Rodman saw the South Dakota Commission on Gaming (SDCG) go through 106 pages of rules on July 14. The commission will meet again on Sept. 8, with sportsbook license approvals on the agenda.

The NFL regular season kicks off the next night — Sept. 9 — when the Dallas Cowboys travel to defending Super Bowl champion the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Rodman told PlayIA:

“Hopefully, they’ll approve the initial sports wagering catalog on that date, with the idea that we’d be ready to go the next day.”

Some properties in the city of Deadwood and sport wagering companies might not be ready to go live on Sept. 9, but Rodman said: “a majority of them will be.”

“There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes. The sports wagering service providers were able to start submitting their applications to be approved on July 1. So, they’re working with the potential casinos they’re going to team up with. They can start submitting their internal controls manuals for approval anytime.

“Once that final approval comes on the 8th (of September), the internal controls are in place. Their initial background approvals and all that are in place. That gaming commission approval will just be the final phase of that.”

DraftKings in Deadwood?

A limited market is better than no market at all, so sportsbook operators are interested in entering Deadwood. Plus, companies with South Dakota roots would have a head-start if or when sports betting expands beyond the city.

Rodman said:

“All I have is rumors at this point. Until Sept. 8, when the commission actually licenses those sports wagering service providers, I don’t know. I do know that there are some startup South Dakota companies that are looking at becoming sports wagering service providers.”

Some well-known suitors, such as BetMGM and DraftKings, are interested, according to Rodman:

“I do know that there’s been inquiries from companies such as IGT (International Gaming Technology), BetMGM and DraftKings. But, again, I don’t know if any of them have submitted applications or are seriously going to be providing their services in Deadwood.”

Where can I bet in Deadwood?

Customers will have to use a sports betting window or kiosk at the approved Deadwood properties. Deadwood has 13 full-scale casinos, and Rodman thinks at least 10 of them plan to offer sports wagering.

Customers can also bet from a mobile sports betting app once they are inside the building.

Rodman said:

“More than likely, the parking lot will be off limits. I don’t know the details about the beacons for geo-fencing and how detailed they can be. That will be something that remains to be seen once those are installed.”

Sports betting operators will pay a $5,000 license application fee to set up shop at a Deadwood casino. Much like slot machine installments, the state will collect a $2,000 fee for every sportsbook kiosk installed at the Deadwood property as well.

The city also has 13 “routed operators.” The routed operators place betting devices like slot machines at historic business locations. They own the equipment and give the hosting business a share of the gambling revenue.

The Deadwood Gaming executive director said the city’s largest routed operator is interested in installing sports wagering stations. Altogether, Rodman thinks six to 10 routed locations may take sports bets.

SD more conservative than NE, Iowa sports betting market

About three out of five voters in South Dakota supported Amendment B in November 2020, and state lawmakers set the rules during the legislative session.

They took a conservative approach. Aside from wagering compacts on tribal properties:

  • Sports betting can only take place in Deadwood.
  • Customers need to be within the Deadwood business to bet on games.

South Dakota state law prohibits sports bets on:

  • High school events.
  • Minor league sports.
  • Games involving South Dakota universities.
  • Prop bets based on an individual player’s performance.

In Nebraska, sports betting is not yet launched; however, it will also permit wagering to the casino property only.

The Iowa sports betting market is more established and less restrictive. Customers need to be inside state lines to wager at one of Iowa’s retail or online sportsbooks.

Photo by Lynne Sladky / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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