South Dakota Could Be First to Add Sports Betting in 2021

South Dakota Could Be First to Add Sports Betting in 2021
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There was optimism in South Dakota that online sports betting could be legalized after voters in November approved sports wagering in the tourist town of Deadwood. South Dakota lawmakers didn't go for mobile betting, but on Thursday they authorized in-person sports wagering in Deadwood casinos.

SB 44 was approved by the House on Thursday by a 58-8-4 vote. It now heads to South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem to be signed into law. This marks the first piece of sports betting legislation in 2021 set for a governor's approval.

Voters overwhelmingly approved legalized sports wagering at Deadwood casinos. This pushed lawmakers to come up with regulations on sports betting.

In addition to banning mobile sports betting, South Dakota college teams and various college prop bets will also not be permitted within the state, under the legislation. The state tax revenue listed in the bill is 9%, with the tax revenue set to go to Deadwood.

It’s the second time in under a week mobile sports betting has been shut down by South Dakota lawmakers. HB 1231 was voted down 11-1 by the House Taxation Committee last week. The bill would have required all mobile wagers to go through servers at casinos in Deadwood. Players in South Dakota would have been able to place bets from their mobile devices, computers or at businesses with licenses to sell liquor for on-site consumption.

Garrett Gross from the Dakota Gaming Group was one of the supporters of mobile sports betting in the state during a hearing. He projected that residents in South Dakota are wagering nearly $30 million per month through neighboring Iowa’s casinos or on the black market.

“These wagers are not tracked, regulated or taxed,” Gross said in the Feb. 22 hearing, according to keloland.com. “That number should be an eye-opener, because it was for me.”

The South Dakota Senate passed SB 44 with a 32-2 majority on Feb. 9.

Still Hope for Online Betting in North Dakota

Online wagering is dead in South Dakota, but its neighbor to the north took a step toward mobile betting last week. Supporters of online gaming in North Dakota are looking to expand with legalized online wagering such as internet sports betting and online poker.

The North Dakota House of Representatives passed two resolutions that would place both legalized sports betting and online poker on the ballot for November 2022. With North Dakota not having any commercial casinos, all gambling would be held online.

Those resolutions are now headed to North Dakota’s Senate.

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