South Dakota gambling regulators OK letting unlicensed devices remain in casinos

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D, (KELO) — The South Dakota Commission on Gaming decided Tuesday to let gambling devices in Deadwood stay on casinos’ floors through New Year’s Eve without renewed licenses, provided they are sealed from use.

The commission also approved licenses for the new owners and operators of the Midnight Star casino that actor Kevin Costner once owned. And money was approved so horse racing can return to Fort Pierre for two days this fall, after a race-less 2019.

There wasn’t any discussion about the Midnight Star licenses. Plans are to open the casino and sports bar July 1. The business has been closed since August 2017.

The unlicensed-devices policy was a response to the Deadwood Gaming Association, whose members requested time to get revenue flowing again after a COVID-19 shutdown of the city’s gambling establishments.

Commissioner Mike Wordeman of Rapid City asked Craig Sparrow, the commission’s chief deputy, whether the betting board should be removed from an idled machine.

Sparrow said the board would be sealed in the machine and the switch would be sealed at the ‘off’ position as part of the inspection. 

Verendrye Benevolent Association will receive up to $239,036 to host horse races October 3-4 at the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Fort Pierre.

More than $486,000 was available in the two racing accounts that Fort Pierre and Aberdeen have tapped through the decades. Aberdeen isn’t holding races this year and didn’t have them in 2019.

Shane Kramme, representing the Verendrye group, said he met with the Stanley County Commission last week. In past years, the Fort Pierre races ran for several weekends around Easter. 

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