Happenings at the federal level of government were the biggest precursors surrounding the development of sports betting in the Mount Rushmore State.
South Dakota began considering the possibility of introducing legal sports betting after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to pass sports betting laws back to the states in May 2018, following the successful court challenge by the state of New Jersey to the Federal nationwide sports betting ban.
In January 2018, the South Dakota Department of Revenue made public a white paper explaining the process that the State should adopt once the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey and overturned the federal law prohibiting sports betting. It recommended a statewide referendum on sports betting, granting regulatory power on sports betting to the state’s Commission on Gaming, limiting sports betting to licensed casinos, and gave the legislature power over the tax rate on sports betting. Similar to other states, the white paper recommends that sports betting in South Dakota should be a parimutuel format, like horse racing payouts are determined.
The debate began in South Dakota in the January 2019 legislative session and the referendum was on the ballot for the 2020 election. After it was overwhelmingly approved by voters, the legislature quickly sent a bill to Governor Kristi Noem, who signed the legislation in March 2021. In September 2021, the first wagers were made at Deadwood’s physical casinos.
However, progress on a system like the online sports betting sites in NJ has stalled with bills failing to advance out of the legislature for two consecutive years. Meanwhile, South Dakota’s residents and visitors can bet 100% legally on horse and greyhound racing and enjoy playing DFS real money competitions until online sports betting becomes reality in the Mount Rushmore State