The South Dakota Constitutional Amendment B, Deadwood Sports Betting Legalization Amendment is on the ballot for South Dakota’s 2020 election.
Voting yes would authorize the South Dakota State Legislature to legalize sports betting in Deadwood, SD where the profits would be dedicated to the Deadwood Historic and Preservation Fund.
This amendment would also allow sports betting to be available at all Indian casinos across the state. The fiscal impact of this amendment shows that potential revenue would be more than $2 million for the Deadwood casino sector and nearly $185,000 in taxes.
Those that argue for this amendment state that this would generate more revenue for the gaming sector and tax revenue for South Dakota. Sports betting is currently taking place already, but unfortunately, it’s on the illegal level and so the state is losing out on income and potentially exposes individuals to fraud and abuse.
14% of South Dakotans usually bet on the NFL at some point in the season, even though it is currently illegal. Montana and Iowa both already allow sports betting, so casinos across the border in Iowa, such as the Hard Rock casino, have an advantage over the native gaming institutions.
Iowa has raised $1.9 million in tax revenue in just one year’s time. Proponents argue that many kinds of gambling are already legal in Deadwood, so why not include sports betting which is already popular and increases fan engagement.
Opponents argue that this amendment would promote gambling addiction and would increase the potential for individuals to become victims of casinos and lose a bunch of money.
South Dakota is already the second most gambling-addicted state in the nation, and the revenue generated would be reduced to practically nothing when you consider the costs of administering this new form of gambling. Gambling addiction can lead to financial ruin, crime, and health problems which can cause problems for the general taxpayer.
While there are some consequences to this ballot measure, I encourage you to vote yes on this amendment.