South Dakota Bettors Could Enjoy Statewide Mobile Option if New Bill Becomes Law

South Dakota Bettors

  • SD Mobile Sports Betting Resolution Passed Through Senate Committee
  • Now South Dakota’s SJR-502 Faces Further Debate in the Senate
  • Mobile Gambling Would Shift South Dakota’s Current One-City Sports Betting Model

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SD Mobile Sports Betting Resolution Passed Through Senate Committee

Technically, it’s legal to bet on sports in South Dakota, but state lawmakers sure haven’t made it easy for resident bettors to place wagers since their sports betting law only allows for in-person gambling in one location, the city of Deadwood, located in the northwest corner of the state.

Mount Rushmore State voters gave the thumbs-up to legal sports betting at the end of 2020, and since the official launch of that market in September 2021, four Deadwood casinos have been taking sports wagers from anyone physically on their premises.

That could all change now with a new resolution that is slowly making its way through the state Senate, a bill called Senate Joint Resolution 502 (SJR 502) that would authorize Deadwood’s casinos to use servers located on their premises to take mobile bets from anywhere in the state.

SJR 502 had to face South Dakota’s Senate Commerce and Energy Committee and after much debate, it only just passed by a vote of 5-4 on January 31, a sign that further heated discussion is in this bill’s imminent future.

Mobile sportsbooks would be subject to the same 9% tax rate as the in-person sportsbooks have to pay, though that could shift in the future with changes to the legislation if South Dakota state leaders decided that made better financial sense for the state.

Now South Dakota’s SJR-502 Faces Further Debate in the Senate

The journey of bill-to-law is a notoriously slow one that will continue for SJR-502 now that some initial hurdles have been handled, no easy feat given the narrow margin of that recent 5-4 vote, proof that some legislators aren’t so keen on the mobile expansion issue.

Now further committees will most likely have their say on SJR-502 and not all South Dakota lawmakers are okay with widening the reach of sports betting to residents, with David Wiest, deputy secretary for the Department of Revenue, a nay voter on this issue, telling the press:

We’ve got the right mixture of gaming in South Dakota right now. We don’t need anymore.

For SJR-502 to travel further towards becoming a law, that argument will need to be countered, most likely with two major factors: convenience and money.

Mobile Gambling Would Shift South Dakota’s Current One-City Sports Betting Model

The reality is that busy humans seek convenience and since there is nothing easier than placing a bet from the comfort of your own couch by using your phone or home computer, especially compared with driving all the way to Deadwood whenever your gambling fancy strikes.

Other states know this and that is why so many offer both mobile and in-person options for sports bettors, with seventy-five percent of the wagers being placed in such duo-markets done using a mobile sportsbook, which means there is an untapped market that SJR-502 could open.

South Dakota could also be competing soon with neighboring states like Montana and Iowa who are in the process of creating their own legal sports betting markets, so it makes sense for South Dakota to get with the times and give their resident gamblers the ease of mobile betting that three-out-of-four of them seek.

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Mike Lukas

Expert on NFL

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]