Killed ballot initiative

South Dakota House committee rejects mobile sports betting bill

South Dakota's legislature.
Reading time 1:09 min

The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee deferred the State Joint Resolution 502 to the 41st legislative day with a vote of 10 to 3, thus killing the chances of legalizing mobile sports betting in the state in 2022. 

The Resolution had passed by a single vote and moved off the Senate floor and over to the House of Representatives, seeking to put a constitutional amendment question on the November ballot, asking voters in the state whether they wanted to expand sports betting to anywhere in the state, to be carried through websites and mobile apps, as long as the products are routed through computer servers in Deadwood casinos.

Had the resolution passed, it would have put the issue on the 2022 general election ballot, and voters would have decided on the matter. 

Rep. Jamie Smith voted “no” on deferring to the 41st day, as  he wanted the full House to have a say, the South Dakota Broadcasters Association reported. Rep. Tim Goodwin, who moved for the bill to be deferred, explained that instead of a resolution, the proponents of the bill should have to get a petition signed for a ballot measure to be initiated, “just like everyone else”. 

While opponents of the bill argued it would cause societal harm to the state and increase gambling addictions and related issues, supporters of the bill stated it would have brought thousands of dollars in tax revenue to the state. Proponents also argued sports betting is already happening illegally, so the state should legalize it and profit from the industry. 

In 2020, South Dakota voters approved Amendment B, which legalized sports betting in Deadwood. However, individuals currently need to be physically present at a Deadwood casino to gamble on a sporting event. 

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