South Dakota Forms New Set of Rules for Legal Sports Betting


South Dakota is finally taking the next steps to get the sports betting industry up and running. The Commission on Gaming held the first of two meetings earlier this week, and sports betting was a major point of discussion.

After the meeting was adjourned, it was announced that sports betting license applications would be available on the Commission’s website. There is a $50,000 application fee included, and this figure was also announced this week.

Even though potential operators can begin submitting applications, the Gaming Commission will not be approving any licenses until July 1 at the earliest. This could put South Dakota on target to launch sports betting prior to the start of the 2021 NFL season.

During this meeting, sports betting was officially added to the list of approved gaming options in Deadwood. All of the sports betting will be done in the small mining town and at the casinos that are already established. 

Most of these rules were crafted by lawmakers in South Dakota, but the Gaming Commission had to make them official. 

Law Takes Effect July 1

It has been a slow-moving process to get to this point in South Dakota after voters in the state approved a sports betting referendum in November 2020. The next step was for lawmakers to pass a bill to officially make this industry legal, and SB 44 was the piece of legislation that accomplished that. 

That bill was signed into law by Governor Kristi Noem on March 18, but there hasn’t been much action taken since that time. The state is looking to sports betting as a new revenue source and also hoping to boost the economy in Deadwood. 

Other Forms of Betting Discussed

The Commission on Gaming had a lot on its plate during the meeting this week, and other forms of gambling were also discussed. Blackjack is one of the most popular gaming options at the Deadwood casinos, and the Commission spent some time outlining new rules for that game.

Irregularities when it comes to Blackjack were discussed, and a new amendment was ultimately introduced. The group also removed a law that deals with video surveillance systems that are used by the casino properties.

These amendments are now with the Interim Rules Review Committee, and that group will decide if these changes are worth making permanent laws. 

North Dakota Might Steal Some Business

Lawmakers in South Dakota were unable to get enough support to legalize online sports betting, and that will keep the industry from really taking off. Online betting is by far the most popular way for bettors to make wagers on sports.

South Dakota could potentially lose out on revenue to its neighbor to the North as well, as North Dakota has also discussed the possibility of legalizing the industry. This state would allow online betting, but there are still several steps that need to happen. 

Nebraska is another neighboring state looking to offer sports betting, and that state could potentially become a large market.