Deadwood gaming to thrive with new sports betting

Fifty-nine percent of S.D. voters said “yes” to sports betting
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 6:38 PM MST
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DEADWOOD, S.D. (KEVN) - A new form of entertainment is officially coming to the Mount Rushmore State, as South Dakotans voted to allow sports betting in Deadwood.

Fifty-nine percent of South Dakota voters said “yes” to sports betting, which Mike Rodman, the executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, said will allow the town to stay competitive with other areas.

“Obviously, it’s going to be a great shot in the arm for Deadwood’s economy at a time where we’re still recovering from the COVID-19 economic crisis,” said Rodman. “So it’s going to be wonderful for Deadwood.”

Two of the largest sporting events in the United States-- the Super Bowl and the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament-- fall in February and March, respectively. These are two months that Rodman said are traditionally slower for the Northern Hills town.

“We certainly believe that many of the casino operators are going to create sports lounges in their properties, and so, you’ll be able to go into a sports lounge, watch your favorite sporting event in that sports lounge, and place your bets while you’re watching,” said Rodman.

The rules will be set by the 2021 Legislature and the Governor’s office, making July 1, 2021 the earliest South Dakota could see sports betting.

“It’ll be up to the 2021 legislature, but my belief is that they’ll continue the same tax structure for sports wagering as we have for Deadwood currently,” said Rodman. “And the taxes from gaming revenues are distributed to the state tourism, the state general fund, to historic preservation projects across South Dakota, and back here of course to Deadwood historic preservations, to the area municipalities, to the school districts. I think that sports wagering revenue will just flow through that system as it’s set up.”

Rodman said the Deadwood Gaming Association will likely reach out to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming to begin conversations and create draft legislation.

The 2021 Legislative Session is scheduled to start January 12.

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