House Okays Penny Video Lottery
Penny video gambling took another step toward legalization in the House of Representatives Thursday.
Senate Bill 52 allows a penny as an eligible denomination for video lottery terminals. Currently terminals accept only nickel and quarter bets.
The bill also eliminates a bet-to-award ratio, which ties the amount of the bet to the thousand-dollar maximum award.
Bill supporter Jim Peterson says this bill is not a referendum on gambling.
“We’re not expanding the number of machines. An establishment is still limited to ten machines,” he says. “That means that they’re going to have to take one that had a higher denomination and change it over to that penny machine.”
Peterson says video lottery is one of South Dakota’s largest sources of revenue.
Proponents say the penny denomination will allow more games on existing machines. They note that funds from video lottery go to the Department of Human Services every year for treating gambling addictions.
Opponents object to the video lottery industry and the damage it does to addicts. They say South Dakota should find a healthier way of raising money.
The bill has cleared both houses and now goes to the Governor for his signature.