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Sports betting simplified
Sports betting is legal in Deadwood and tribal casinos in South Dakota. You must bet in person on the premises of one of the casinos in question. You also cannot place bets on high school games, minor league games, prop bets on individual college athletes, or bets on any game involving athletes from South Dakota colleges.
Online betting is legal, but only if the bets are placed at a Deadwood casino. No online sports betting site offering online sports betting promotions has launched in the state.
According to Title 42, Chapter 7B of South Dakota’s Codified Laws, “any sports wagering may only be conducted on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment as approved by the commission within the city of Deadwood.” A sportsbook could technically offer an app, but it would only be valid for use in its partner casino. Efforts to legalize online sports betting more broadly, as recently as 2022, have failed to move past the South Dakota Legislature.
State of South Dakota Sports Betting Overview
South Dakota offers retail sports betting under 2020’s SJR 501. The resolution amended the South Dakota Constitution to allow sports wagering. As the existing law confines most gambling to areas within the city limits of Deadwood, sports betting is also restricted to retail sportsbooks in the town on the western edge of the state. The only exceptions are tribal locations, which can offer any game in Deadwood.
SJR 501 passed the South Dakota Legislature without much fanfare due to an affirmative vote last November. South Dakota voters approved the introduction of sports betting in Deadwood in 2019 by a margin of 58% to 42%. Thus, although the exact application of the law remained unclear for a few months, the passage of a sports betting law became a foregone conclusion.
South Dakota law prohibits betting on the following: High school games, Minor league games, Games involving in-state colleges and universities, and Individual college athletes, regardless of the school they attend.
The state also prohibits anyone integrally involved with a particular sport or gambling location in South Dakota from betting. Players, coaches, referees, and trainers cannot bet on their sports games. Sportsbook employees in South Dakota also cannot wager, regardless of the sport or bet. Betting for someone else or under a false name is also illegal.
State of South Dakota Sports Betting Timeline
2022: A ballot proposal that could allow South Dakotans to approve mobile sports betting in November 2022 was passed by the Senate in February. It faced an uphill battle in the House after barely escaping the Senate.
A House committee voted against the proposal, limiting South Dakota sports betting to Deadwood casinos.
SJR 502, which proposed an amendment to the Constitution of South Dakota to provide online sports betting, passed the Senate but came up short in the House before the end of the 2022 legislative session.
2021: With voter wishes behind them, legislators passed legislation legalizing sports betting in Deadwood.
With Gov. Kristi Noem‘s signature, the state’s regulators worked quickly on industry rules. A first set was approved in June, while a second, more detailed set received legislative approval on Aug. 2.
A ceremonial first sports bet was placed at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort on Sept. 9, 2021, just in time for the 2021 NFL season.
2020: The Senate tried again with a similar sports betting resolution in 2020, and this time it received a better reception in the House.
The House passed SJR 501 by a single vote, putting the issue of legalizing sports betting in South Dakota in front of voters in November. Nearly 60% of voters approved sports wagering in Deadwood.
2019: The effort to put South Dakota sports betting at Deadwood casinos in front of voters began in 2019. The ballot question introduced by a bipartisan group of state senators would have been part of a larger proposal.
A fiscal note by the state Legislative Research Council estimated that Deadwood sports betting revenue would amount to about $2 million annually, with about $185,000 going to the state in taxes.
The Senate passed SJR 2, but a House committee did not recommend the bill.
Online sports betting is unavailable, not until 2023 at the very earliest. Although limited online sports betting is theoretically possible within the confines of each sports betting location, broader online sports betting is not particularly imminent in South Dakota. Efforts in the House (HB 1148) and Senate (SJR 502) fell flat at the end of the 2022 legislative session.