South Dakota sports betting took another step forward Wednesday when the South Dakota Commission on Gaming (SDCG) authorized two more sportsbooks to set up shop in Deadwood.
But the industry could take a giant leap forward if a constitutional amendment to allow statewide sports bets reaches South Dakota voters this November.
Where we’ve been: Limited betting in Deadwood
About three out of five voters in South Dakota supported Amendment B to allow sports betting in November 2020. State lawmakers set the rules during the 2021 legislative session. The legislature and Gov. Kristi Noem followed the voter mandate — they had no choice once the amendment passed.
Visitors to South Dakota aren’t getting the bet-from-anywhere convenience found at Iowa sportsbooks, however.
Aside from wagering compacts on tribal properties:
- Sports betting can only take place in Deadwood.
- Customers need to be within the city’s licensed casinos and historic businesses to bet on games.
With those conditions, the SDCG approved its first three retail sports betting licenses just in time for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL regular season. The number should grow to five sportsbooks at seven locations in time for Super Bowl betting at Deadwood.
The city is about 50 miles northwest of Mount Rushmore. Sturgis, home of the famous motorcycle rally, is about 20 miles to the east.
Where we might be going: Will voters support expanded sports bets?
Senate Joint Resolution (SJR) 502 would put online and mobile sports betting on the November 2022 ballot as an amendment to the South Dakota Constitution. The resolution passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee by a 5-4 vote Tuesday, Feb. 1.
The bill emerged from the full senate with an 18-17 vote on Monday, Feb. 8, but the South Dakota House of Representatives is considered a more difficult hurdle.
- Some representatives want statewide, in-person sports betting at bars and other businesses that establish a relationship with Deadwood operators.
- Other representatives are opposed to expanded sports betting altogether.
Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association said DraftKings Sportsbook was behind efforts to get SJR 502 introduced. Rodman’s organization added language that would require sportsbooks to have a Deadwood casino partner as part of the application process. He told PlayIA:
“Other than that, the Deadwood Gaming Association is remaining neutral on this legislation. We didn’t build a consensus here on this particular bill. So we’re going to be neutral on this as it goes forward. However, some of the sports wagering service providers that are licensed here in Deadwood were there testifying in support of it (Tuesday).”
Where we’re at: Deadwood Super Bowl betting
Five Deadwood casinos have sportsbooks up and running. The number will grow to seven following a Feb. 2 commission vote.
Rodman thinks the newest sportsbooks will be ready in time to take Super Bowl bets. Both companies are based in South Dakota.
BetRushmore at Historic Bullock Hotel Casino
BetRushmore Sportsbook established an access agreement in Iowa through Rhythm City Casino Resort in Davenport. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved the contract for remote betting at its November 2020 meeting, but the sportsbook has yet to go live. Customers will find BetRushmore Sportsbook at the Historic Bullock Hotel Casino.
- Historic Bullock Hotel Casino: 633 Main St., 800-336-1876
Betkota Sportsbook at The Midnight Star
The Midnight Star Casino was once owned by “Dancing With Wolves” and “Field of Dreams” actor Kevin Costner. The three-story building is considered “a tribute to Deadwood’s past.” The property features table games, a bar, restaurants and an event space. Dakota Gaming Group of Harrisburg, SD, is behind Betkota. The sportsbook plans to use an in-house platform to set and manage sports bets.
- The Midnight Star Casino: 677 Main St., 605-578-1555
Other Deadwood sportsbooks
BetMGM Sportsbook at Tin Lizzy and Cadillac Jack’s
BetMGM Sportsbook was the first operator to confirm its arrival in the Black Hills community.
It is working with Liv Hospitality through an exclusive partnership. Liv Hospitality operates the Tin Lizzy and Cadillac Jack’s gaming resorts in Deadwood.
- Cadillac Jack’s: 360 Main St., 605-578-1500
- Tin Lizzy’s: 555 Main St., 605-578-1715
ISI Sports at Mustang Sally’s and Gold Dust
Rodman said ISI Sports also should be ready to take bets at 10 a.m. local time today.
Internet Sports International (ISI) Sports received a one-year temporary license on Wednesday to set up at two retail locations in Deadwood. Mustang Sally’s Casino and Gold Dust Casino & Hotel.
- Gold Dust Casino & Hotel: 688 Main St., 605-578-2100
- Mustang Sally’s Casino: 634 Main St., 605-578-2025
ISI Sports isn’t a household name, but the company dates back to 1999 and helped develop iSports Stand, the first sports betting kiosk in Nevada. ISI has operator licenses in Colorado and Oregon. They also have a tribal access agreement in Wisconsin.
IGT PlaySports at Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino
IGT PlaySports provides retail sports betting via kiosks and mobile sports wagering at Deadwood Mountain Grand casino and hotel. The sportsbook also has a presence in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
- Deadwood Mountain Grand: 1905 Deadwood Mountain Drive, Deadwood; 605-559-0386
International Game Technology (IGT) has manufactured and distributed slot machines for Deadwood since gaming was first allowed in 1989. Because they continually renewed that license, the SDCG was able to grant the operator a full conditional license for sports betting.