South Dakota voters will decide whether or not to expand gaming in Deadwood. If House Joint Resolution 1001 passes, it could clear the way for table games, including roulette, craps, and keno, to set up in the gambling hub.
"Why is the casino in Grand Falls so popular? They have games we can't play," Rep. Marc Feinstein, (D) Sioux Falls, said.
During the last legislative session, state representatives and senators from both parties, approved a measure for a statewide vote on gaming expansion. Supporters say it will make Deadwood more competitive in the gambling market. South Dakota voters will be asked whether or not to change the state constitution to allow these games.
"It's only about eight or ten words that (would be) added to the constitutional amendment that allowed Deadwood gaming," Marc Feinstein said. Feinstein is also a co-sponsor of the bi-partisan measure.
The extra money the Las Vegas-style games would bring in would stay in Deadwood, and go back into the town's historic preservation. It would not change anything at small, video lottery casinos. However, Feinstein said under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, tribal casinos in South Dakota could see an impact.
"It'll open up those casinos to the same kind of gaming, which again, will help with Flandreau, Brule, all of that over the eastern part of the state. It will maybe help curb our outflow of cash that goes to Iowa," Feinstein said.
This may bring a ripple effect to the rest of the state. If the measure passes, Feinstein expects other areas of South Dakota will also see more revenue in tourism and development dollars.
"The multiplier effect. You spend a dollar, it turns over three or four times," Feinstein said.
There has been reported opposition to this, including concern about expanding what has been referred to "predatory" gaming, as well as putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot.
KELOLAND News reached out to several lawmakers, but Feinstein was the only lawmaker able to do an interview today.