South Dakota Sports Betting Amendment Proposed For Fall Ballot

Mobile sports betting in South Dakota could be on the way under a constitutional amendment proposed for the 2022 fall ballot. 

The amendment proposed in Senate Joint Resolution 502 would allow South Dakotans to vote this Nov. 8 to legalize mobile and online sports betting statewide through servers based in the city of Deadwood. 

If approved, legislation setting up a regulatory framework would follow in the South Dakota legislature, with a mobile and online launch likely sometime in 2023. 

This could be the second time in two years voters have amended the South Dakota Constitution to allow sports betting. Voters amended the state’s constitution in Nov. 2020 to allow retail sports betting in the city limits of Deadwood, with those sportsbooks opening Sept. 16, 2021. 

The proposed constitutional amendment was introduced in Pierre by Sen. Majority Whip Kyle Schoenfish on Jan. 18. The bill has yet to be referred to committee for review, according to the South Dakota legislature website. 

South Dakota Online Sports Betting Proposal Explained

Mobile and online sports betting would be allowed both “within and outside the city limits” of Deadwood under the proposal. But the servers processing bets would be located in Deadwood.  

The restriction, it seems, is an attempt to comply with the 2020 constitutional amendment that authorized the South Dakota legislature to legalize sports betting. That amendment legalized sports betting in Deadwood specifically. 

It is unclear if the proposed amendment could meet a legal challenge, should it be approved by lawmakers for the ballot this year.  

Retail sports betting is now available at several Deadwood casinos through operators that include BetMGM and major slots operator AG Trucano. Four casinos reported a total sports betting handle exceeding $443,365 within three weeks after opening their sportsbooks last fall, according to an Oct. 26, 2021 report by KELO-TV. 

South Dakota officials have reported expectations of netting $6.1 million in direct revenue from sports betting in the Mount Rushmore State. 

About the Author
Rebecca Hanchett

Rebecca Hanchett

Legislative Writer
Based in Kentucky's Bluegrass region, Rebecca Hanchett is a political writer who covers legislative developments at Gaming Today. She worked as a public affairs specialist for 23 years at the Kentucky State Capitol. A University of Kentucky grad, Hanchett has been known to watch UK. basketball from time to time.

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