Deadwood sports betting bill revived after near death experience

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) -- Don't count Deadwood out.

The scrappy Gold Rush town's effort to add sports betting to its gaming menu looked like it died Monday in Pierre but it squeaked by to live another day.

Deadwood casinos want to add sports betting and asked the Legislature to put the idea to on the 2020 ballot and let the voters decide.

That bill passed the Senate but was killed Monday in a House committee. Rep. Tim Johns, R-Deadwood, then jumped into action and "Smoked" it back to life.

Using a rare maneuver on the House floor, Johns managed to force the bill out of committee and before the full house.

It's known as "Smoking it Out" and it required at least a third of the House to agree. Gaming officials were pleased with the end of a roller coaster day.

"The House voted to Smoke Out our bill and we have a lot of appreciation for Tim Johns for moving that forward," said Mike Rodman from the Deadwood Gaming Association. "Deadwood has always had to fight for what it wants and this is no different. We think this is a fight worth having and we're going to continue to try to move it forward."

The bill faces two more hurdles. First the full House will vote Wednesday on whether to calendar the measure. If that passes then as early as Thursday the House will vote on the bill itself.