On Wednesday, the Senate State Affairs committee passed Senate Joint Resolution 2, a call for the people of South Dakota to vote on a the legalization of sports betting in the Mt. Rushmore state.
Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director Mike Rodman says it’s important for South Dakota to stay on pace with the national trend of legalizing sports betting.
“Deadwood is an integrated tourism destination where visitation is equally driven by its historic attributes, its entertainment offerings, and gaming," explained Rodman. "We compete with both surrounding states and nationally, and need to provide our costumers with those gaming products they ask for that other states are providing.”
In May of 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports betting from 1992, giving each state the freedom to legalize it if they so wish. Eight states have already legalized sports betting in the last nine months, with most other states, at the minimum, starting conversations about it.
Those who oppose SJR 2 say gambling expansion is immoral and that the state shouldn’t rely on it for its annual revenue. The Senate State Affairs committee passed the joint resolution with a 5-4 vote. It’ll go next to the senate floor.
If passed by both chambers, a state constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting in South Dakota would be placed on the 2020 November ballot.