Lawmakers to decide fate of sports betting in Deadwood

Published: Feb. 5, 2019 at 4:30 PM CST
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Lawmakers in Pierre are one step closer to legalizing sports betting in Deadwood. It's a step that could help bring in more revenue.

On Wednesday, legislators will discuss the future of Senate Joint Resolution 2 to allow sports betting in Deadwood.

"Sports betting has been going on as long as I've been around I think. This then will legalize it to some ex- you know, at least for Deadwood and I consider it a good thing for our local economy," said Representative Timothy Johns (R) District 31.

If sports betting is legalized, it can be taxed. This also has the potential to help the economy with more tourists and people who are interested in gambling.

"The big events like the super bowl this last weekend and March Madness happen at the slower times of the year for us so that's, would give us a nice shot in the arm for those times of the year," said Mike Rodman, Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director.

David Schneiter, general manager at Cadillac Jack's, is already looking at where terminals could be added for sports betting.

"There's going to be all different types of wagering opportunities that'll make it more interactive and more appealing to a broader mass of sports wagering participants," said Schneiter.

While not all casinos might make sports wagering available, the gaming association says enough have expressed interest to be an attraction for those visiting Deadwood. That is, as long as the people vote for it.

"Again, it's up to the voters. They don't want it, that's fine with me, but you know, they should have the opportunity to speak on it and this gives them the opportunity to speak on it," says Representative Johns.

If the resolution makes it to the 2020 ballot and passes, sports betting will not be legal until 2021.