PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A proposal to rewrite part of the South Dakota Constitution so that sports wagering would be allowed in Deadwood would also make it available in tribal casinos — and possibly throughout South Dakota.
Amendment B on the November 3 election ballot asks voters to mark yes or no. If a majority of voters support the change, the Legislature would decide how to shape the laws.
The nine tribal governments that share parts of the same geography also could offer sports betting if the measure passes, according to state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. They are the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux, Yankton Sioux, Flandreau Santee Sioux, Lower Brule Sioux, Crow Creek Sioux, Rosebud Sioux, Oglala Sioux, Cheyenne River Sioux and Standing Rock Sioux.
The Legislature agreed to put the proposal on the ballot during the 2020 session. Governor Kristi Noem’s administration had stopped it in 2019 but didn’t resist this year when Senator Bob Ewing, a Spearfish Republican, brought the plan back.
The Yes on B ballot committee raised $120,000 from six Deadwood businesses for its campaign. There isn’t an organized committee opposing it.
During the legislative session, supporters of sports wagering said that non-tribal businesses outside Deadwood could take bets if the Legislature allowed them, provided the bets were placed remotely with Deadwood casinos.
Mike Rodman, executive director for the Deadwood Gaming Association, said Wednesday that the structure would be up to lawmakers.
“The 2021 Legislature will decide the rules surrounding sports wagering if the voters approve Amendment B. Deadwood is looking at sports wagering to drive additional visitors to Deadwood, but would not oppose the mobile options like those available in surrounding jurisdictions,” Rodman said.
Two legislators, Ewing and Representative Steven Haugaard, have staked their pro and con positions in formal statements presented by the South Dakota Secretary of State office.