South Dakota Betting Law Updates – Bad News for Sports Wagers


Posted: February 26, 2021

Updated: February 26, 2021

  • South Dakota was seeking new laws for sports betting with House Bill 1211
  • The House State Affairs Committee dismissed the initiative
  • You still have other ways to do some sports wagering

If you have ever visited the Upper Midwest region of the United States, you probably crossed the state of South Dakota. You better did, since it is the home of the famous Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park as well. Also, the state is famous for its history of gambling: it used to be a gamer’s paradise. But now it looks like that the betting law updates in South Dakota are not serving their interests.

A handful of Representatives in the House State Affairs Committee in South Dakota proposed new legislation concerning sports wagering. The house bill would have let all establishments holding a liquor license to accept sports gamblers. This would have applied to bars and restaurants as well. But as for now, it seems like there will be no legislation like this whatsoever. See the South Dakota betting law updates – and non-updates – below, alongside some other possibilities, like online sportsbooks in the US, such as Bovada.

What to know about legal gambling in The Rushmore State

South Dakota used to be a gambling hotpot, but today it is fairly regulated. Casino gambling, horse racing betting, dog racing betting, lottery, charitable gaming and social gambling are all legal in the state. However, poker is illegal, also the legal status of daily fantasy sport and online gambling is quite complicated. So, when arriving to South Dakota, you should always check out the relevant legislation before wagering, to avoid fines. Speaking of fines: you must be at least 21 years old to wager in the Casinos in the city of Deadwood and the tribal casinos. But to gamble at simulcast locations and live horse racing events you only have to be 18 at least. For that matter, these casinos are pretty popular – especially among wagers from other states, where they have no betting options.

South Dakota Betting Law Updates
Law is blind

South Dakota betting law updates

Representative Mark Willadsen proposed HB 1211 asking Legislature to allow sports wagering in bars and restaurants. By this, every place holding a license to sell alcohol for on-site consumption, would be authorized to accept betting on sports events. Sadly for gamblers, the proposal faced resistance from Deputy Secretary of the state’s Department of Revenue David Wiest. The House State Affairs Committee voted the HB down 9-4. The Department of Revenue in South Dakota called another bill forth: SB 44. According to his one, sports betting can exclusively take place on the premises of casinos in Deadwood. Their concern was that HB 1211 would have made it possible for 901 municipal and 219 country bars, 29 convention centers and 37 restaurants to take sports gamblers – which goes against the November Referendum they passed.

What can you do about South Dakota betting law updates?

So, legislators did not want to make sports wagering so widespread all along the state. They preferred to restrain it to the territory of Deadwood. “We believe that it is clear that the phrase ‘within the city limits of Deadwood’ means that you must physically be in Deadwood to play limited card games, slot machines, roulette, keno or craps, or to place a wager on a sporting event.” – said Wiest. Anyhow, if you do want to bet on some sports events, you can still do it online too. All the online gambling sites in the US, like Bovada, would be happy to serve you. But, be aware that in South Dakota online gambling is illegal for some citizens. The law Chapter 22-25A make it illegal to wager online for “those in the gambling business”.

You can discover more about Bovada Sportsbook here.

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