South Dakota is not considered to be a hotbed of sports betting action. However, geolocation data estimates that more than 6,700 South Dakota fans were blocked from placing Super Bowl bets from mobile betting apps.
Sports betting is legal in the state. Yet, it is confined to retail sportsbooks located in land-based casinos. These casino venues are located in Deadwood, South Dakota as a popular gaming destination.
An effort to expand legal sports betting to online mobile sportsbook apps was passed by the South Dakota Senate. Unfortunately for in-state sports bettors, the measure was recently terminated through a vote by the House State Affairs Committee.
Senate Joint Resolution 502 did not receive enough support in the House. The measure proposed a constitutional amendment to expand the current laws on the books. This would have opened the door to legal online sports betting in the state.
Specifically, sports wagers placed through electronic devices would have been legalized.
Proponents of the expansion pointed to lost revenue. Online sports betting revenue continues to be filtered into Wyoming and Iowa. Each of these border states offer legal mobile sportsbook apps.
These same proponents cited data provided by GeoComply. This Canadian-based gaming tech company supplies sportsbook operators with software to verify a customer’s IP address.
Despite some rather convincing data, the House committee was not swayed in its decision. The fact that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem does support expansion is another factor to take into consideration.
One group noted as a strong opponent of expansion is Family Heritage Alliance. This social conservative organization has been quick to point out all the social ills tied to gambling in any form.
South Dakota residents first approved legal sports betting through a 2020 November voter referendum. However, the ballot question only proposed legal retail sports betting in Deadwood.
Deputy revenue secretary David Wiest was quick to point this out in his opposition to expansion. Referring to large US operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM, he stated:
“Those folks are obviously sports betting companies, but they are multibillion-dollar sports betting companies. They’re the ones that are behind it.”
South Dakota-based sports betting operators actually supported expansion to mobile betting. One company mentioned by name was BETKOTA. However, 10 of the 13 members on the House State Affairs Committee were opposed to the change.
State Senator Kyle Schoenfish is one South Dakota lawmaker committed to the cause. He points out that:
“We need to be honest and acknowledge the vote today did nothing to stop any type of gambling going on today or in the future as South Dakotans can quickly and easily place their wagers online or in neighboring states.”
Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.
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