25th state to legalize it

Sports betting goes live at South Dakota's Deadwood casinos

The first sports bet was placed at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort in Deadwood, which opened a BetMGM sportsbook.
United States
Reading time 2:19 min
The first legal bet was placed Thursday morning. The rules on sports wagering for the region are different from others jurisdictions as South Dakotans will be unable to place a bet outside Deadwood city limits, and sportsbooks will be added onto existing casinos. Bettors will be able to bet on college teams from other states, except South Dakota.

Starting this week, Deadwood players can place bets as sports betting officially gets underway. 

On Wednesday, the South Dakota Gaming Commission finalized the sports wagering catalog, listing what sporting events people will be able to place bets on.

The first legal bet in South Dakota was placed Thursday morning. Casinos in town have updated their signs to include the new addition. While some locations are still working through the process of setting up, several casinos will be ready to go on Thursday including Cadillac Jack’s, Gold Dust and Tin Lizzie’s. 

According to the executive secretary for the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, Susan Christian, the proposed rules for sports wagering were finalized in August. The rules are published under Senate Bill 44. 

After Amendment B passed in South Dakota in 58% of the vote, it became the 25th state in the U.S. to legalize sports wagering. States were able to introduce sports wagering bills in May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, lifting the ban on states being allowed to establish their own sports wagering rules and regulations. 

South Dakota’s rules will be relatively unique compared to other states. The only place where wagers are allowed to occur is on sporting events within city limits of Deadwood. 

It has been outlined in the bill that sportsbooks will be added to existing casinos. Patrons will be able to place wagers at windows, kiosks or on their mobile devices, which will only allow them to bet in Deadwood. 

The rules also state South Dakotans will be unable to place a wager on any South Dakota college sports team. However, they will be able to bet on college teams from other states.

When it comes to Deadwood casinos, Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino manager Tyler Knold said: “We have slot machines, we have tables, we have a great restaurant and the concert hall, but now with sports betting coming, we decided in May of 2019 when it was first discussed, let’s get out in front of this and build a sportsbook.”

Even though the property does not have a set date on when they will take their first bet, every part of the plan has been thought through.

“We made all these changes and built a sportsbook area a few months ago. This actually was a place where people would eat and listen to music, and we tried slot machines. We tried music, so then myself, the general manager, then our CFO and owner all decided we would try the sports booking,” he explained.

“We want to be a destination, we want people that live here locally, we want them to come to Deadwood rather than fly to Vegas or fly to Atlantic City or fly to Colorado. We want to keep people here and hope that they watch the games, gamble and have a good time,” Knold said.

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