Aug 29, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; South Dakota State Jackrabbits wide receiver Cade Johnson (15) rushes with the ball for a first down in the first quarter against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Sports betting in South Dakota: bill on governor’s desk

A signature from the governor is all that is needed to bring legal sports betting to the state of South Dakota.

During the November election last year, a referendum on legalizing sports betting was put to the voters on the ballot. The referendum passed with 59 percent of South Dakota voters in favor.

How did sports betting South Dakota come to pass?

Last week the South Dakota House of Representatives passed Senate Bill 44 which outlined the rules and regulations around sports betting in the state. Now that the bill has passed through both the House and the Senate it simply needs the signature of Governor Kristi Noem to become law. That is expected to come later this month with residents clearly in favor according to the referendum vote.

Once the bill is signed by the Governor sports betting will be legal at the South Dakota’s commercial casinos in Deadwood. It will also be available in the state’s 11 tribal casinos as anything offered by the commercial casinos can legally also be offered by the tribal casinos.

The wording of SB 44 should also allow for mobile sports betting in the state. The bill states:

“Any sports wagering may only be conducted on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment as approved by the commission within the city of Deadwood. Each operator or route operator that is authorized by the commission to conduct sports wagering shall install and maintain equipment that is approved by the commission to ensure that all bets are placed on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment as approved by the commission within the city of Deadwood.”

It hasn’t been challenged yet but judging by the wording it appears that a casino could accept mobile bets as long as its mobile betting servers were housed within its Deadwood Casino.

One hiccup that could initially cost South Dakota some sports betting dollars are restrictions placed on sports betting registration. Currently, anyone that wants to open a sports betting account must do so in-person at a Deadwood Casino.

Deadwood is a lengthy six-hour drive from the eastern borders of South Dakota. Anyone residing in that part of the state may find it easier to zip across the border to Iowa where they allow mobile registration for sports betting.

Other sports betting restrictions in place in South Dakota include, no betting on minor league sports, no betting on colleges that are located in South Dakota, and no props bets on college athletes that play for South Dakota schools.