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South Dakota sports betting bill heads to Governor


A bill to amend the constitution of South Dakota in order to allow sports betting in the state is to move forward to Governor Kristi Noem for signature after being voted through by the House of Representatives.

Introduced by state Senator Bob Ewing in January, SJR501 passed through the House by a vote of 36-27 and will now advance to the Governor.

Approval from the House comes after the South Dakota Senate also voted to pass the bill on February 11.

However, even if the bill does secure the signature of Governor Noem, it would still be subject to a statewide referendum. The people of South Dakota would vote on the measure at the November 2020 election.

South Dakota’s current state constitution prohibits gambling, except for roulette, keno, craps, limited card games and slot machines, provided these are conducted within the city limits of Deadwood in the Black Hills Forest close to the Wyoming border.

The constitutional amendment would permit sports betting, but only within the city limits of Deadwood. Funds from legal sports betting would go towards, “the historic restoration and preservation of Deadwood”.

The bill does not provide any further details regarding the regulation of sports betting in South Dakota if legalized.