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South Dakota Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 19, 2021

Lawmakers in South Dakota have made it clear: They don’t want online gambling and that includes sports betting (but horse racing is another story, more of that later). They long passed specific laws banning gambling on the internet.

The state isn’t completely anti-gambling, however, and it actually embraces tribal casinos and gambling in Deadwood, the town where Wild Bill Hickock died playing poker holding aces and eights.  The state also allows video lottery terminals in bars that offer poker, blackjack, bingo, and keno. It also has horse and greyhound racing and charitable events can sponsor lottery and bingo nights with prize money below $2,000. But sports betting – not so much.

To have legal sports betting in the Mount Rushmore State will take an amendment to the state constitution. S.D. Gov. Kristi Noem opposes sports betting.

The Deadwood Gaming Association is pro-sports betting, touting that it could bring up to $1 million in revenue split among Deadwood casinos and provide a huge boost to tourism in the Black Hills. The proposal also broke down contributions to the state general fund, Lawrence County schools and municipalities, and the city of Deadwood. The constitutional change also would bring sports betting to tribal casinos.

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A resolution was dropped into the state Senate, where it passed only to die in the state House.

The last resort to get an amendment on the 2020 ballot was to gather nearly 34,000 valid signatures from registered voters by Nov. 3.  That didn’t happen, so sports betting, under the watchful eyes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln, was on hold in 2019

In 2020 however, voters chose to legalize sports betting but only in a very limited manner in a land-based casino in Deadwood.

What age will you have to be to bet on sports in South Dakota?

The legal gambling age will be South Dakota is 21.

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

Yes, but it has yet to be launched.

What about horse racing?

You are legally allowed to place wagers online for horse racing via one of the approved vendors which include, but is not limited to Bet America, TVG, Twinspires and AMWager.

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