State Senators Agree They’ll Debate Yankton Gambling Proposal Next Week

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KELO Yankton Port Rendering

South Dakota senators placed the Port Yankton gambling proposal on their calendar for debate Tuesday.

The vote was 20-11 in favor. Four senators were excused.

SJR 5 would allow South Dakota voters to decide at the 2020 general election whether to allow Deadwood-style gambling at a single non-profit location in Yankton.

Senator Justin Cronin, a Gettysburg Republican, is the resolution’s prime sponsor.

Cronin said the Senate State Affairs Committee deadlocked on the issue. A motion to recommend passage failed on a 4-5 vote Wednesday.

The panel agreed to deliver it to the full Senate without recommendation, as Senator Joshua Klumb, a Mount Vernon Republican, switched sides and voted yes.

No one else spoke Thursday on Cronin’s motion.

The resolution would allow slot machines, card games, keno, roulette and craps, similar to offerings in Deadwood and tribal casinos.

The proposal says that, after expenses, two-thirds of the revenue must be spent for assisting veterans and one-third for historic restoration and economic development in Yankton.

A somewhat similar proposal failed last year in the Senate, losing on a 12-23 vote.

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