South Dakota Sports Betting Rules Evolve With September Launch In Mind

Posted By Russ Mitchell on June 17, 2021

July is still the big month as South Dakota sports betting takes shape, but there have been a few ducks to align in June as well.

The South Dakota Commission on Gaming met on Wednesday to edit some tax language before South Dakota locks in sports betting.

Gov. Kristi Noem signed Senate Bill 44 into law on March 18.

Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director Mike Rodman said the legislation didn’t address the federal excise tax provisions for casinos, however:

“That needs to be a legislative fix. We’ll probably be approaching the legislature next year to fix that piece of it. But it doesn’t slow down the process for the sports wagering service providers. They can move forward with submitting their applications beginning July 1st.”

$5,000 gives sports betting operators a seat in Deadwood

The gaming commission also set a $5,000 fee for sports betting operators to enter the Deadwood, SD.

Rodman thinks about 10 Deadwood casinos want to add sportsbooks. Sports betting operators work directly with the casinos and the sides can submit contracts starting July 1:

“Once those applications are submitted, the sports wagering service provider is approved and licensed. Then the contract can be signed with the individual casino property and I’ll have an idea of exactly who’s going to be in the sports wagering business. Right now, it’s all conversation and interest. But, I believe there’s probably 10 properties that are saying that they’re interested. Until that process plays itself out, we’ll have to just wait and see.”

South Dakota sports betting limited to Deadwood

About 3 of every 5 voters in South Dakota supported Amendment B in November 2020, which allowed Deadwood casinos to open sportsbooks in the Black Hills community.

Looking East, Rodman said Iowa is doing a phenomenal job with mobile sports wagering. The city faces a new challenge to the west, however. Wyoming ushered in online betting on April 5, when Gov. Mark Gordon signed legislation that allows online registration and betting.

Roadman said of Wyoming:

“They’re supposed to be up and running around the first of September, too. And so that will be interesting to as we see how that works right next door to us in a state that really hasn’t had a lot of gaming. So there’s a lot of changes around us. We’re gonna have to see how it all plays out.”

South Dakota requires in-person sports betting at Deadwood casinos. About 26 businesses in the city would be eligible to set up a sportsbook. The state could eventually become more operator-friendly, according to Rodman:

“They want to see how it operates, so, there’ll be a lot of eyes on Deadwood when we kick it off in September. Between September, when it kicks off, and the legislative session, I’m sure there’s gonna be a lot of folks looking at it, to see what we’re doing and how we’re doing.”

South Dakota has a reluctant governor

Rodman said Noem is fine with sports wagering in Deadwood if it helps keep Deadwood healthy — and because Deadwood is where voters approved gaming expansion.

“But, expanding it anywhere else? I don’t think that’s what she thinks is in the best interest of the state. That’s my feeling, but I certainly don’t speak for the governor.”

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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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