N. Dakota Gaming Moves Forward; Online in S. Dakota Stalls

N. Dakota Gaming Moves Forward; Online in S. Dakota Stalls
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North Dakota and South Dakota are neighboring states known regionally as the Dakotas, but they each feature vastly different stances when it comes to online casino gaming and mobile sports betting.

South Dakota made some headway in this past election when its citizens voted with a 57% majority to allow legalized sports wagering at Deadwood casinos. This pushed lawmakers to come up with regulations on sports betting.

But mobile betting seems far off, still. The House Taxation Committee voted 11-1 against HB 1231 this week. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Tom Pischke, would have required all mobile bets to pass through servers at casinos in Deadwood. Anyone within South Dakota would have been eligible to make wagers from their mobile devices, computers or at businesses with licenses to sell liquor for on-site consumption.

Garrett Gross from the Dakota Gaming Group in Harrisburg was one of the proponents for online wagering. He used Iowa’s sports betting numbers to project that South Dakotans are betting nearly $30 million per month through Iowa’s casinos or the black market.

“These wagers are not tracked, regulated or taxed,” Gross said in Monday’s hearing, according to keloland.com. “That number should be an eye opener, because it was for me.”

David Wiest, deputy secretary for the state Department of Revenue, noted in a hearing how his department and the Deadwood Gaming Association prefer SB 44, which limits sports wagering to Deadwood casinos. The bill was passed by the Senate with a 32-2 majority on Feb. 9 with a House committee planning to hear it.

“Technology doesn’t change the words of the constitution,” Wiest said, according to keloland.com. He said that proponents of the internet-betting legislation want sports wagering expanded statewide without a constitutional amendment and “that is something quite frankly none of us can do.”

iGaming Takes Step Forward in North Dakota

Mobile wagering in South Dakota is still a ways off, but North Dakota has continued its progressive gaming movement. Proponents of expanded gaming in the state are looking to legalize online wagering, including mobile sports betting and internet poker.

This week, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed two resolutions that would put legalized sports betting and online poker on the ballot for November 2022. North Dakota does not have commercial casinos, meaning all gambling would be held online.

The resolutions will now head to the state’s Senate.

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