Many states have had a fuzzy gray area when it comes to online gambling but South Dakota isn’t one of them. The Mount Rushmore State passed laws specifically banning gambling on the internet, including betting on sports.

Right now, sports betting is not legal in South Dakota. The hope is that one day those laws will change to include a more accepting attitude towards online betting.

In this guide we’ll explain the ins and outs of whether it’s legal to bet on sports in South Dakota and give you a broader picture of gambling in the state.

We’ll explore:

  • The current sports betting laws in South Dakota, regarding in-person and online betting.
  • The major developments we’ve observed in the state since the US Supreme Court repealed PASPA in 2018.
  • What we expect in the near future when it comes to legalizing sports betting in South Dakota.

We’ll also touch on a few other important areas including the daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting situation plus the sports and teams that are most popular in South Dakota.

For more information on legal sports betting in other parts of the United States, refer to our state by state guides.

South Dakota Legal Gambling at a Glance

Like we mentioned before, South Dakota has specific laws banning online gambling. Don’t take that to mean that the state is against gambling in general, however.

SD has a rich gambling history and there are already plenty of land-based casinos operating in South Dakota.

Many of the gambling venues are located in historic Deadwood, known as the home of the famous gunfighter, lawman and gambler Wild Bill Hickok.

Having a large gambling community already in place might help pave the way for sports betting legalization. For that to happen, a new sports betting bill will have to be filed and voted on. The good news is that optimism is high and expectations are hopeful.

One big hurdle is that legalization of online betting will require an amendment to the state constitution.

South Dakota Sports Betting Laws Summary

At the moment sports betting is not legal, nor is any form of online wagering. As mentioned above, this may soon change. Below is a list of the current gambling laws that apply to residents of the Mount Rushmore state.

  • South Dakota constitution defines gambling as ‘wagering anything of value upon the outcome of game of chance; maintaining gambling place or equipment.’
  • Casino table games and slot machines are authorized on sanctioned tribal lands and in the town of Deadwood.
  • Bars and taverns are allowed to have up to 10 video lottery terminals that offer poker, blackjack, bingo and keno. The maximum bet is $2 and the max payout is $1,000.
  • Horse Racing is sanctioned and legal. As well, they offer pari-mutuel betting at authorized satellite racetracs which are located over 50 miles away.
  • Greyhound racing is sanctioned and legal. As well, they offer pari-mutuel betting at authorized satellite racetracs which are located over 50 miles away.
  • Charitable events can sponsor bingo and other lottery evenings with no prize in excess of $2000
  • Internet gambling is prohibited.
  • Must be 21 or older to gamble.

The Current Online Sports Betting Situation in South Dakota

Big changes have been happening to sports betting laws all over the United States, thanks to the 2018 Supreme Court ruling to overturn a decades old law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).

That ruling makes it such that all states are now able to govern for themselves whether or not they want legal sports betting for its residents.

While South Dakota hasn’t yet jumped on the legal sports gambling bandwagon, there is hope for the not-too-distant future.

One main advocate for change is the Deadwood Gaming Commission (DGA) in the town of Deadwood which is the state’s central gambling tourist attraction and destination.

Hoping to hold a near monopoly on a potential legalized sports gambling industry, the DGA have filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office that would make the requisite amendment to South Dakota’s constitution that would allow sports gambling to fit into its existing regulations.

Depending on how lawmakers and voters decide to move forward with the opportunity to legalize sports gambling we could see momentum as soon as the first part of 2019 or early in 2020.

Roger Tellinghuisen represents the DGA and has argued that while legal sports betting could generate around $1 million in revenue split between various casinos, a bigger benefit would be a boost to tourism.

Jim Bolin, a Republican State Senator from Canton, has expressed doubts about a sports betting bill passing in the state legislature.

Some proponents of legalized sports gambling have suggested making it available through the video lottery terminals that are already legal and located all over the state. Others argue that sports gambling should be restricted to the casinos in Deadwood and on tribal lands.

The History of Online Sports Betting in South Dakota

South Dakota has a storied gambling past. Interestingly, in downtown Deadwood, all buildings must comply with historic 1880s architectural styles even though the first modern casinos weren’t introduced until 1989.

In fact, you can gamble in the same spot where Wild Bill was shot to death while playing cards all the way back in 1876.

The following are some notable highlights of the state’s past.

  • 1986 - Legislation authorizes state lottery. this was passed one year earlier. 1987 - The state lottery makes it first draw.
  • 1987 - The state passes a bill to allow charitable gambling such as bingo and raffle type games. This is extends only to non-for-profit organizations.
  • 1989 - Video Lottery Terminals added at sanctioned locations.
  • 1989 - Town of Deadwood opens its first casino with $5 maximum bets. The town eventually develops into the historic tourist attraction it is today.
  • 1990 - The first simulcast horse and greyhound wagers are offered.
  • 1993 - The first tribal/state compact is signed. Development begins on first tribal land based casinos.
  • 2000 - Deadwood casinos raise their betting limits from $5 to $100.
  • 2010 - Previous 1987 bill to allow charitable gaming for non-profit organizations extends the reach of the law to allow industrial development organizations who may also offer licensed bingo games.
  • 2012 - Deadwood casinos raise their betting limits once more from $100 to $1000.

Which Online Sports Betting Sites Are Legal in South Dakota?

Currently there are no online sports betting options in South Dakota.

With potential new laws that may allow sports betting in the state we’re hoping to see a constitutional amendment that will allow online betting as well. For now it’s a wait and see game.

What we will keep an eye on moving forward is how the next potential bill is presented to the state legislature tackles the issue of wagering online. If the town of Deadwood were to get control we would expect them to begin by opening sportsbooks within their casinos and from there develop and introduce mobile and online betting options.

In other states where sports betting has become legal, big global online betting brands like 888sport have partnered with local casinos to offer a truly world-class betting experience.

However, if the state lottery gets full or partial control of sports betting in the state then online betting will probably be available using the lottery website, app or electronic video terminals.

If legalization does happen, check back here for reviews of the best online sportsbooks in South Dakota.

What Sports Can You Bet on Online in South Dakota?

Since there is no legal sports betting, there are no sports or teams to bet on. However, we hope people in SD who want to bet on the NFL, for example, won't have to wait forever to do it legally.

Should we eventually get there, South Dakotans can expect a full buffet of all major marquee North American sports and major international leagues.

South Dakota has no pro sports teams so gamblers will be excited to place bets on local university teams, if legal sports betting includes the NCAA.

If and when legal sports betting does arrive, bettors will be able to wager on basically any sport from anywhere in the world, including:

  • NFL
  • NBA
  • MLB
  • Golf
  • NHL
  • NAS
  • MMA
  • Soccer
  • CFL
  • CFB
  • LOL (League of Legends eSports)
  • Tennis

How to Bet on Sports Legally in South Dakota

Other than greyhound and horse racing, you can’t legally bet on sports in South Dakota. However, if legalization does happen, the most likely option would be through a sportsbook somewhere in the famous gambling town of Deadwood or on tribal land.

Depending on the direction legal betting takes, it may be available only in person at existing casinos or it might be accessible through online sites and betting apps similar to what we’ve already seen in other states that have legalized sports betting.

Check back on this page to find the best online sportsbooks in South Dakota when they become available, as well detailed instructions on how to sign up and start betting legally.

Is Betting on Fantasy Sports Legal in South Dakota?

While there is Daily Fantasy Sports in South Dakota at the moment, Attorney General Marty Jackley has openly expressed mixed opinions on the matter. In a recently written statement he wrote:

“Based upon the current state of uncertainty, including the ongoing debate on whether daily fantasy sports wagering is predominantly a permissive game of skill or an unlawful game of chance, it will not be my intent to seek felony indictments here in South Dakota absent a clear directive from our state legislature."

For right now it looks like DFS betting is a safe play in South Dakota. FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo and Fantasy Draft all accept players from South Dakota.

What Is the Future of Online Sports Betting in South Dakota?

Our best prediction is that legal sports betting will come to South Dakota, but it won’t happen overnight.

If you’re looking forward to betting on sports online in SD, the wait is going to be even longer.

It’s plausible that the state will take steps to legalize in-person betting on sports either by creating sportsbooks in existing casinos, or by using the existing state lottery which already includes video lottery terminals.

The truth is not many state lawmakers enjoy sitting on their hands while watching other states generate extra tax revenue. In short, money talks and we believe that in the coming years the pressure to move toward legalizing sports gambling will force many state’s hands, hopefully South Dakota included.

2019 will be an important year and we’ll be keeping a close eye on the state’s progress towards a new sports betting bill.

South Dakota Sports Gamblers in for a Wait

Right now we encourage patience since there isn’t much to do except wait and keep our collective fingers crossed.

Luckily for residents, the state has a fairly progressive view on gambling in general and already sees the benefits of tourism money coming in from visitors to Deadwood who enjoy gambling and the historic atmosphere that comes with it.

The most optimistic forecast for legal sports betting in South Dakota might make in-person betting possible in 2020 and online wagering available sometime after.

The reality is likely to be slower but you can keep track of everything that’s happening by checking back on this page.

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