South Dakota Rushes To Launch Sports Betting

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Back in March of this year, Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota signed a Senate Bill that would officially legalize sports betting in the state of South Dakota. The sports betting bill only legalizes sports betting in the city of Deadwood, which is adjacent to the state’s western border.

South Dakota voters had the opportunity to vote on South Dakota Constitutional Amendment B. This was a proposed ballot measure back in the 2020 election that would amend South Dakota’s state constitution to allow sports betting to take place in Deadwood. It passed with nearly 58.5% of the vote. The sports betting legislation then proceeded to become law with almost no difficulty in the State Senate or State House of Representatives.

There is now an intense rush to bring sports betting to the city of Deadwood by September to align with the start of the upcoming NFL Season. Sports betting license applications opened on July 1st from the South Dakota Commission on Gaming and a new set of rules and regulations were approved by the legislature as well.

Mobile sports betting across the entire state was not approved. This means that all state residents will have to travel to an approved gaming establishment in the city of Deadwood in order to place a wager.

South Dakota Sports Betting License Information

The application to apply for a sports betting license is only $5,000, according to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. This is relatively inexpensive when compared to some of the substantial costs and fees that sports betting operators are forced to endure in other states. As an example, New Jersey charges a $100,000 licensing fee to sports betting operators and Tennessee charges $750,000 annually.

While South Dakota’s sports betting licensing fees aren’t that costly, the state also doesn’t have a massive sports betting market. In fact, the state of South Dakota doesn’t even have any major league professional sports teams at this moment in time. Even still, South Dakota joins more than 20 other states that have already legalized, or are in the process of legalizing sports betting in some capacity.

Is An Expansion to Statewide Mobile Betting Possible?

There are still hopes that an expansion to statewide mobile sports betting is possible within the state of South Dakota. The ballot measure that passed in 2020 only allows for sports betting to take place in the city of Deadwood on an approved gaming establishment.

Lawmakers have thrown around the idea of launching mobile sports betting servers by simply having all statewide operators run their servers out of the city of Deadwood. This is almost certainly a gray area and there’s no way to know if this is something that lawmakers will pursue. It’s possible that sports betting progress stops with the current launch of the limited in-person betting market in Deadwood.

If sports betting proved to be a popular amenity in the state of South Dakota, don’t rule out the possibility of some form of expansion to statewide mobile betting at some point in the near future.

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