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Deadwood Gaming Association Pushes For Sports Betting On 2020 South Dakota Ballot

State Attorney General Has 45 Days To Decide If Measure Is Added To Ballot


South Dakota faces an uphill climb for legalized sports betting, requiring a constitutional amendment, but it’s a battle that the Deadwood Gaming Association (DGA) has been willing to take on.

The DGA recently submitted a ballot measure to state Attorney General Marty Jackley, and the legislative research council for review.

“We’ve gotten a lot of support across South Dakota,” said DGA Executive Director Mike Rodman. “Sports betting of course already happens in South Dakota right now, it’s just illegal and those citizens who want to bet on sporting events want to do it in a safe, regulated and legal manner and we want to give them that opportunity.”

The measure would legalize sports betting in Deadwood, and at tribal casinos. The tribal casinos would then also need to amend their compacts with the state.

Deadwood is best known as the city where Wild Bill Hickok was killed during a game of poker back in 1876, but it wasn’t until 1989 that gambling was legalized. In 2014, state residents voted on a constitutional amendment to add roulette, keno, slot machines, and craps. The measure passed with 56.7 percent of the vote.

South Dakota is home to 26 commercial casinos, which brought in a total of $105.4 million in 2017, generating $15.5 million in tax revenue for the state.