Bet and award limits on video lottery machines could be on the rise in South Dakota. House Bill 1246 increases the maximum bet from its current $2 limit to $5. It also removes the current award maximum of $1,000. Supporters of the bill say South Dakota is losing lottery revenue to tribal casinos and other states. Norm Lingle with the South Dakota Lottery says these changes enhance the game.
“When we looked at all the recommendations and all the objectives that are in the strategic plan, the whole intent is to stimulate further capital investment in South Dakota video lottery in order to increase our player appeal as well as our loyalty to the program, and help preserve our current market share, and perhaps increase our share of the overall gaming wallet,” Lingle says.
An added amendment gives authority to the South Dakota Lottery Commission to make those decisions. Lingle says that means the panel can react more quickly to player requests and market demand. Opponents to the measure say legislators shouldn’t encourage an addictive game that’s designed to take away players' money. Some members on the House Commerce and Energy committee are concerned about authorizing more authority to the lottery commission. The bill as amended passed 9-4.