South Dakota voters will decide whether to allow sports betting in Deadwood.
If passed, the constitutional amendment will prompt state lawmakers to pass rules on sports wagering next session.
Twenty three states have legalized sports betting after the US Supreme Court overturned a ban on it in 2018.
Constitutional Amendment B adds wagering on sporting events to the gambling provision in the state constitution.
Mike Rodman is the executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. He says sports wagering allows Deadwood to compete on a national playing field.
“We need to have those offerings that our customers are asking for,” Rodman says. “Even on a more regional level, Iowa has sports betting, Colorado has sports wagering, Montana has sports wagering, we need to be able to offer those same options for our customers in order to drive tourism to Deadwood and satisfy what our customers are looking for.”
Rodman says it could generate around two million in gaming revenue. That money would get routed into Deadwood preservation and the state’s tourism department.
If passed, the state legislature will write the rules on how sports wagering will look.
One legislator opposed to the idea is Speaker of the House Steve Haugaard. The Sioux Falls Republican says the state is too dependent on gambling.
“The fact is, we know that there’s a certain number of people—every year in South Dakota—that suicide solely because they have an addiction to gambling,” Haugaard says. “We should not be encouraging that. We should not find new ways to weave it into our system. We need to recognize the real cost associated with gambling and back away from it before other people get hurt.”
Any state authorized gaming will also be allowed at on-reservation tribal casinos.