South Dakota sports betting fans aged 21 and over can now legally gamble on sports within the state after a long-awaited change in the law. Senate Bill 44 was passed in March 2021 and the first sports bets in the state were taken that September at a handful of Deadwood casinos.
Indeed, the new legislation has been welcomed by South Dakota sports betting advocates who have been campaigning for more liberal gambling laws within the Mount Rushmore State for some time. However, the bill is limited in that in-person and online sports wagering can only occur at certain approved casinos. The state’s regulated land-based sportsbooks can only be found at a handful of casinos in Deadwood. Senate Bill 44 also doesn’t legislate for mobile sports betting, and any subsequent moves to make mobile sports betting apps legal in the state have fallen by the wayside.
South Dakota is traditionally a conservative state, so the path to legalizing sports gambling has been long. Despite this, the Mount Rushmore State has a long and colorful history with gambling. For example, the city of Deadwood, which is often referred to as the birthplace of the real Wild West, was infamous for its gun slinging, saloon girls, and gambling houses. Central to the Black Hills Gold Rush, Deadwood has become synonymous with some of history’s most notorious gamblers.
It is uncertain whether South Dakota sports betting will be rolled out across all the state’s casinos or whether it will be sanctioned on mobile apps. However, with campaigners pushing for more sports betting options and evidence that it could be lucrative for the state, there is a ray of hope. For example, casinos in Deadwood currently contribute around $10 million yearly to South Dakota through taxes, while the state lottery raises about $50 million yearly and the video lottery, $100 million. Furthermore, the first month of the new sports betting legislation saw South Dakota generate more than $2.5 million in sports wagers. With these promising figures, it is reasonable to assume that the state might one day relax its sports gambling laws in some way in the future.
South Dakota Legal Sports Betting
The Mount Rushmore State has a somewhat unusual stance regarding online South Dakota sports betting. Senate Bill 44, which legalized South Dakota sports betting, only enables online wagering at approved casinos; therefore, online sports wagering is not permitted with these establishments. Online sportsbooks are available at approved Deadwood sites where in-person sports betting is allowed.
With such limited choice, it should be no surprise that South Dakota sports betting enthusiasts often prefer to use licensed offshore gambling sites instead. The top five reputable offshore sites for South Dakota sports betting fans are BetOnline, XBet, MyBookie, BetUS, and Bovada.
While South Dakota currently has no regulated mobile sportsbooks in the form of an app, efforts have been made to expand sports gambling to state-approved mobile apps. An attempt was made to pass legislation with Senate Joint Resolution 502, but this bill died in February 2022. Nonetheless, South Dakota sports betting campaigners continue to lobby for a change in the law, and the South Dakota Commission on Gaming has proposed plans to enable sports betting apps inside approved Deadwood casinos.
How To Pick A South Dakota Sports Betting Site
Currently, online South Dakota sports betting is not regulated outside the designated Deadwood casinos. While the Mount Rushmore State does not permit mobile sports wagering apps, South Dakota sports betting enthusiasts can bet safely and securely on their phone browsers. However, gambling sites should be licensed by a relevant gaming authority and have a good reputation.
South Dakota sports must bet fans wager on a trusted bookmaker, such as one of the top five sites listed above, which are regulated and well-known. Devise a list of reputable sites with positive customer reviews, decent customer support services, and credible payment method systems. You can then compare these bookmakers to determine which ones are the best for you.
Look at what each site offers in terms of promotions, such as welcome bonuses, loyalty schemes, and other rewards. You might also want to consider precisely what sport you’re interested in betting on – for instance, if you’re a major baseball fan, which bookmakers generally offer the best odds or options for that? Finally, always ensure you read and fully understand the site’s terms and conditions before signing up and part with your cash.
History / Timeline Of Sports Betting in South Dakota
South Dakota sports betting has a long and rich past, with the town of Deadwood being historically associated with gambling. Notorious figures of the Frontier, such as James Butler ‘Wild Bill’ Hickok, Martha ‘Calamity Jane’ Cannary, Eleanor ‘Madame Mustache’ Dumont, and Jack ‘Crooked Nose’ McCall, are all synonymous with the town’s gambling past – Hickok was famously shot dead by McCall during a game of cards in 1876.
From the 1870s onwards, Deadwood was renowned for its lavish gambling houses, which attracted people from far and wide. While gambling was officially outlawed in the Mount Rushmore State in 1905, it wasn’t banned in Deadwood until 1947.
Out with Deadwood, the first legalized form of South Dakota sports betting was in 1933, when pari-mutuel betting was permitted within the state.
At the tail-end of 1986, voters approved a constitutional reworking of lottery regulations, which would set the path toward South Dakota sports betting legislation. Then, in April 1987, the Charitable Gaming Bill to establish a state lottery was signed, allowing certain types of gambling for charitable causes. The South Dakota Lottery, a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association (MSLA), was launched that year and continues to exist.
The South Dakota sports betting legalization campaign was set further in motion during the last two years of the 1980s. The Federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 permitted tribal casinos in the state; South Dakota’s first tribal casinos began to emerge in the early 1990s.
In 1989 South Dakota legalized commercial casinos, but the state’s notoriously conservative stance saw this legislation enacted cautiously. Casinos were only permitted in Deadwood, and the venues were restricted to offering card games and slot machines.
In 1990, horse racing simulcasts were introduced, allowing off-track wagering. These simulcasts have helped to keep horse race betting in the sights of gamblers as the state’s race tracks have floundered over the decades.
South Dakota sports betting supporters were dealt a blow with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992. The act outlawed sports betting across the country, except in a few states. However, the pathway toward South Dakota sports betting legislation looked brighter following significant development in the gambling landscape of the United States recently. In 2018, the United States Supreme Court overturned the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. This move gave individual states the authority to pass their own sports wagering laws.
The ball started rolling from the very start of 2020, with state lawmakers acknowledging that South Dakota sports betting should be regulated and that it would likely require constitutional reworking. In March of that year, Senate Joint Resolution 501, which called for South Dakota sports betting to be included in the following November’s ballot to be included, was passed. In November 2020, voters chose to approve sports gambling in the Mount Rushmore State, though this new legislation was initially only limited to a handful of casinos located in Deadwood.
On March 5, 2021, Senate Bill 44, which would legalize sports gambling within the state, was passed. The bill was subsequently signed on March 18 by Governor Kristi Noem.
In August 2021, just weeks ahead of the South Dakota sports betting official rollout, BetMGM launched in Deadwood after striking a partnership with LIV Hospitality. The deal vowed to offer retail gambling locations at Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort and the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort.
They have legalized South Dakota sports betting officially. It was launched on September 9, 2021, just in time for the start of the National Football League (NFL) season. Four Deadwood casinos began taking retail sporting bets that day, with the first official South Dakota sports betting wager being placed at the Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort. The first month of the new legislation saw the state generate $2.7 million in sports wagers.
Moves to legalize South Dakota mobile sports betting were made at the start of 2022. Senate Joint Resolution 502 aimed to expand on the 501 bill with the regulation of mobile sportsbooks in the Mount Rushmore State. The bill passed the Senate Commerce and Energy Committee on February 3 by a narrow majority but ultimately failed to pass the house. However, South Dakota sports betting advocates continue to campaign and are hopeful that mobile gambling on sporting events might be permitted in the future.
The South Dakota sports betting movement was dealt a blow in March 2022 after many Deadwood venues were fined for violating regulations by accepting bets outside the bounds of the law. Two casinos and one online sportsbook received penalties from the South Dakota Commission on Gaming for several unlawful wagers, including accepting bets on NCAA games before the competition field was set. Mustang Sally’s, the Gold Dust Casino, and Internet Sports International were each fined $3,000 subsequently.
Also, in March 2022, two tribal casinos announced intentions to follow the Deadwood casinos in offering sports wagering. Both the Dakota Sioux Casino and Hotel in Watertown and the Dakota Connection Casino in Sisseton announced the addition of the Dakota Nation Sportsbook. This announcement was welcomed by South Dakota sports betting advocates.
South Dakota Sports Teams
The Mount Rushmore State doesn’t have major professional sports teams or large-scale collegiate athletic programs, but that doesn’t mean South Dakota sports betting enthusiasts can’t enjoy wagering on local teams.
South Dakota is home to several minor league and independent league teams, all based in either Rapid City or Sioux Falls. The Sioux Falls Canaries play at Sioux Falls Stadium and are members of the North Division of the American Association of Professional Baseball.
The Sioux Falls Skyforces play in the National Basketball Association’s Minor League for basketball fans. At the same time, the Sioux Falls Stampedes are the local Tier I junior team for South Dakota sports betting fans of the United States Hockey League (USHL). The Stampedes play their home games at the Denny Sanford Premier Center, a Sioux Falls arena that they share with the local indoor football team, the Sioux Falls Storms. Ice hockey supporters also have the option to place wagers on the state’s mid-level ice hockey team, the East Coast Hockey League’s Rapid City Rushes, or the Aberdeen Wings, a Tier II junior team that plays in the Central Division in the North American Hockey League.
Like most other US states, the National Football League (NFL) is the most popular sporting league in South Dakota to watch and gamble on. But with no major league games on home soil, South Dakota sports betting fans might want to look at nearby states, such as Minnesota or Colorado. The favorite team among South Dakota National Football League fans is the Minnesota Vikings, although there is also a following for the Denver Broncos.
South Dakota sports betting fans that enjoy watching Major League Baseball might consider betting on the Colorado Rockies or Minnesota Twins;. At the same time, those interested in the National Basketball Association might like to punt on the Denver Nuggets or Minnesota Timberwolves. Finally, for ice hockey supporters, South Dakotans might take their chances with the National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild or Colorado Avalanche.
Local teams within the National College Athletics Association include the South Dakota Jackrabbits and the South Dakota Coyotes, who play in the Division I Football Championship and are members of the Missouri Valley Football Conference. However, South Dakota sports betting legislation currently doesn’t allow for wagering on games involving college and university teams. This includes gambling on in-state college teams or sporting events and collegiate prop betting. Therefore, those looking to wager on local college teams or events will have to do so via licensed offshore sites.
Retail Sports Betting in South Dakota
With its colorful gambling history, it should be no surprise to learn that Deadwood is considered the casino capital of South Dakota. In modern times, the city has been seen as the state’s gambling hub since 1989 and is currently home to more than 20 casinos offering slot machines, card games, and more. The city’s largest casino is the Silverado Franklin Historic Hotel and Gaming Complex, established as a hotel in 1903 and dominates Deadwood’s Main Street. With its Victorian architecture, the Silverado Franklin is a vivid reminder of the Wild West, and it’s easy to imagine prominent figures of the Gold Rush strolling past its grand entrance.
Most South Dakota’s casinos are within Deadwood, although the state has several casino resorts and bingo halls elsewhere that promise a fun time. Out with Deadwood, the state’s biggest casinos are the Grand River Casino and Resort in Mobridge, Fort Randall Casino, and Hotel at Lake Andes.
For South Dakota sports betting hopefuls who don’t live near Deadwood, Mobridge, or Lake Andes, there’s always the option to gamble legally within some of the neighboring states. For example, sports wagering is legal both online and at retail sites within Montana, and the state has as many as 300 casinos. Wyoming allows sports betting online and in person, as does the state of Iowa, while South Dakota sports betting enthusiasts can legally bet on sports at select in-person sites in Nebraska.
South Dakota sports betting hopefuls can legally wager on sports at six Deadwood establishments: Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort, Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, Mustang Sally’s Casino, the Gold Dust Casino, the Midnight Star Casino, and the Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel, Casino, and Event Center.
Tin Lizzie’s and Cadillac Jack’s are located on Main Street and have its odds provided by BetMGM. The Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel is home to Dale’s Sportsbook Bar and Grill and allows South Dakota sports betting fans to wager via the venue’s app, through its kiosks, or in-person with the staff. The Midnight Star Casino operates the BetKota Sportsbook. It promises visitors a Las Vegas-style experience with options for wagering on all major professional and college sports and daily sports betting. For those visiting Mustang Sally’s, there are two kiosks where sports bets can be placed.
There are currently 11 tribal casinos in the state of South Dakota operated by seven federally-recognized native tribes. The best of these casinos offer an impressive selection of slots, table games, restaurants, and other entertainment. Federal regulation of tribal gaming was created in 1988 with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The top three tribal casinos in the state are the Flandreau Santee Sioux-owned Royal River Casino and Hotel, the Ogala Sioux-owned Prairie Wind Casino and Hotel, and the Dakota Sioux Casino and Hotel, which is operated by the Sisse ton-Wahpeton Oyate and located in Watertown. The latter casino recently opened the Dakota Nation Sportsbook, potentially paving the way for other tribal casinos to follow, which is good news for South Dakota sports betting advocates.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Like many other states in the country, South Dakota doesn’t regulate daily fantasy sports, so the practice remains a legal grey area. The United States Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 defined daily fantasy sports as games of skill instead of games of chance. This has enabled a legal loophole in which US residents can bet on daily fantasy sports.
However, unlike many other states, South Dakota has acknowledged this legal grey area in a public manner. The State Attorney General Marty Jackley publically reiterated that daily fantasy sports are games of chance and also announced that he would not pursue criminal action against the operators of the games. Subsequently, South Dakota sports betting fanatics can enjoy peace of mind while playing their favorite fantasy sports such as FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo Daily Fantasy, and others.
Offshore Sports Betting
Online sports betting in South Dakota is relatively limited under the new legislation, with the practice only permitted at approved casinos; therefore, it’s unsurprising that many South Dakota sports betting hopefuls choose to wager at offshore sites.
As with most US states, offshore betting in South Dakota is legally a grey area, where the practice is neither prohibited nor permitted. South Dakota sports betting hopefuls would be wise to remember that offshore sites are more likely to be unlicensed or unregulated. Never part with your money unless you are 100% sure that the offshore site you use is not only legitimate but is licensed by a relevant gaming authority.
The bookmaker should have a credible reputation, not only in terms of familiarity but in terms of payment systems and customer service. Online customer reviews are usually an influential gauge of which sites you can trust, but always be aware that sites internationally recognized as safe and secure for South Dakota sports betting fans are those located in Curacao and Costa Rica. Well-known and reputable sites licensed to these places include Bovada, BetOnline, XBet, and BetUS.
South Dakota Horse Racing & Off-Track Betting
Although horse racing in South Dakota dates back to the 1950s, it is not particularly popular in the Mount Rushmore State compared to other sporting activities. Nonetheless, South Dakota sports betting enthusiasts can legally wager on the racetracks if they wish.
The two main race tracks within the state are located at the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen and the Stanley Fairgrounds in Fort Pierre. While these attract many tourists in the summer, live horse races only take place during select weekends. South Dakota sports betting fans interested in wagering on the horses are therefore likely to see more action via simulcast horse racing, which is offered at some of the approved casinos and is available all year round.
Off-track betting is offered through Triple Crown Casino, a facility that operates in North Sioux City and enables bets on races occurring throughout the United States. South Dakota sports betting devotees also have the option to bet on horses via reputable sites such as TwinSpires, TVG, and BetAmerica.
Final Thoughts / Summary
The future of sports betting in South Dakota is uncertain, but it does look promising. While the current legislation might be restrictive, it had relaxed somewhat since its introduction when sports betting was limited to only a handful of Deadwood casinos. Initially, only four venues, all located within Deadwood, were permitted to offer sports betting on launch day in September 2021. However, in less than a year, at least two other sportsbooks have opened in the state, and other casinos are interested in following suit.
Online sports gambling is currently only permitted within designated casinos; however, the future still looks hopeful for South Dakota sports betting fans who enjoy wagering online. While the bill to regulate mobile sports betting apps went nowhere, it has created a lot of discussion among campaigners and lawmakers, and it is hoped that apps might be at least permitted for use within approved casinos.
These are exciting times for South Dakota sports betting enthusiasts, and it will be interesting to see how the state’s new legislation expands.