he South Dakota Commission on Gaming has proposed the first round of rules for sports betting at Deadwood casinos.
Another set is still being drafted, according to the commission’s executive secretary Susan Christian. She said the Commission on Gaming plans to hold two separate public hearings. The first one is set for May 18, to be held by teleconference and videoconference. The hearing on the second set is planned for this summer.
The proposals in the first set cover some aspects of sports wagering, such as the application process for the state license necessary to be a sports wagering services provider. They also would clean up some existing regulations, such as requiring that game rules be posted at each poker table.
“If these rules are approved, it will permit the commission to accept sports wagering services provider license applications on July 1, 2021, when the sports wagering laws become effective. The second rules hearing will be in July 2021 and will focus on the technical rules for sports wagering,” Christian told KELOLAND News.
A majority of South Dakota voters in the November 3 general election approved changing the state constitution to allow sports wagering in Deadwood. The Legislature in turn adopted SB 44 that Governor Kristi Noem signed into law March 18.
The Gaming Commission is part of the state Department of Revenue. The department’s secretary, Jim Terwilliger, noted in a presentation Thursday to the state Lottery Commission that Deadwood sports-wagering rules would come in two groups and casinos could start taking sports bets this fall. “Busy subject to deal with (for) the Commission on Gaming,” Terwilliger said.
Furthermore, Deadwood’s gambling industry reported a strong March. According to the state commission, Deadwood casinos saw a 102% increase in gambling handle compared to March 2020, when they were closed for seven days because of COVID-19, and a 61% increase over March 2019.
Gamblers put more than $131 million in slot machines and $7.7 million in table game bets. In all, visitors to Deadwood's casinos spent more than $139 million on wagers in March.
“As the country continues to move toward a total reopening from the pandemic and people resume their travel and entertainment schedules, Deadwood is reaping the benefit,” Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, said in a statement. “Deadwood and the South Dakota Department of Tourism have focused their marketing efforts on visitation to our area as travelers felt safe and ready to return.”