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SDPB Radio Coverage of the South Dakota Legislature. See all coverage and find links to audio and video streams live from the Capitol at www.sdpb.org/statehouse

Business Drinking Hours Remain the Same in Deadwood

If you want to drink ‘til dawn in a Deadwood casino, you won’t get an OK from state lawmakers. State Senators defeated a measure that allows some businesses in Deadwood to serve alcohol 24 hours a day. House Bill 1123 applies to facilities in Deadwood that offer gaming, hotel rooms, and have an alcohol license. Supporters say Deadwood is losing revenue and this change would allow many main street businesses to reinvent themselves. But opponents argue it only promotes bad behaviors.

Senator David Omdahl spoke against the bill on the floor.

“We as a society want to fight against drinking and driving as it goes until 2 o’clock. Now we want a bill that accommodates 24/7 drinking. Will this have more drunks on the road? I think so. What about the law enforcement costs, the cost to society? Second of all, this is a slippery slope. We have one business now that wants to do it, or one city that wants to do it. What about the other businesses that want to do it? What about the other cities that want it?” Omdahl says.

Other opponents say it’s unfair for that small selection of businesses to serve alcohol all day, when a regular bar can only serve until 2 AM. The bill was defeated 15 to 20.