Through a narrow vote on Tuesday, a bill measure that would allow mobile South Dakota sports betting statewide took another step towards reality.

The state’s Senate Commerce and Energy Committee voted 5 to 4 to advance Senate Joint Resolution 502. If successful, the joint resolution would appear on the November 2022 ballot as a constitutional amendment.

How Close is Mobile South Dakota Sports Betting?

The Commerce and Energy Committee’s move is only the first step towards regulating mobile betting platforms across South Dakota. However, recent history shows it may have a strong chance of ultimately succeeding.

Deadwood, South Dakota
Deadwood would continue as the hub of gambling in South Dakota. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

In November 2020, South Dakotans approved allowing casinos in the historical mining town of Deadwood to host sportsbooks. Like Senate Joint Resolution 502, the measure first needed to be approved in the state legislature.

Then, the resolution, which became 2020 Amendment B, received 58% support from statewide voters. Even in deeply conservative South Dakota, expanded gambling options had broad backing from the electorate.

Still, that measure was reserved to Deadwood, a tiny town in the far west of the state. Allowing mobile betting throughout the Mount Rushmore State would be different.

What Would Mobile South Dakota Sportsbooks Look Like?

Now that the Commerce and Energy Committee has approved the measure, it moves to the full Senate for consideration. If it receives full approval from both chambers, it will move to voters for their consideration.

November 2022 is coming up quickly and interested parties would likely invest large sums of money on both sides of a sportsbook ballot issue, even in such a small state. Interestingly, Joint Resolution 502 would require all sportsbook servers to be hosted in Deadwood.

This requirement would anchor mobile South Dakota sports betting to the state’s gambling hub. Smaller states hoping to not only regulate mobile sportsbooks but keep a significant portion of the money in-state have run into resistance from national operators.

Between opening in September and the end of 2021, Deadwood sportsbooks handled $2.7 million in wagers. Most states with retail and online wagering see mobile betting take up 90% or more of their total handle. Therefore, South Dakota easily could have over $80 million in annual wagering handle if it was offered statewide.

Arthur Crowson

Arthur Crowson writes for GambleOnline.co about the gambling industry. His experience ranges from crypto and technology to sports, casinos, and poker. He went to Douglas College and started his journalism career at the Merritt Herald as a general beat reporter covering news, sports and community. Arthur lives in Hawaii and is passionate about writing, editing, and photography.

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