Gov. Kristi Noem signed SB 44 into law on Thursday, putting South Dakota one step closer to taking its first legal sports bets. The bill was sent to Noem last week after being approved by the legislature.

Sports betting in South Dakota will be permitted at Deadwood casinos. Players can wager at sports betting windows, kiosks or through a mobile app inside the casinos.

Voters overwhelmingly approved legalized sports wagering at Deadwood casinos in November.

“We’re that much closer to having legal sports wagering,” Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, told on Friday. “Our next step will be working with the South Dakota Commission on gaming to promulgate the rules. Once the commission approves the rules, it’ll go back to the interim rules committee for final approval, and then it will be official. We expect that process will take a little bit of time to get everything in place.”

Rodman is hopeful sports wagering will be ready to launch sometime around early September, with Sept. 1 as a target date. This would allow South Dakotans to wager on the 2021 NFL and college football seasons, which is a key reason Rodman points to September as a time that he hopes the state can launch.

“We’re pushing to catch as much as the football season as we possibly can,” he said.

Rodman has looked at the projections from the American Gaming Association at what the economic impact could be when sports betting goes live in Deadwood. Those projections show $6.1 million in sports wagering for Deadwood and the overall impact on gaming would be $22.1 million, which equates to a 15% increase in overall gaming with sports betting added. The sports betting industry would also create an additional 152 jobs once it becomes operational.

“There’s been a lot of excitement,” Rodman said of sports betting coming to Deadwood. “From the casino operators, I’ve had conversations with some of them, and I’m estimating that sports wagering will open with at least 10 properties here in Deadwood that will offer sports wagering. That will give us a healthy mix for patrons to go and place their sports wagers.”

Status of More South Dakota Betting Options

While SB 44 passed, other sports betting bills did not. HB 1231 would have allowed mobile sports wagering; all bets would have gone through servers at casinos in Deadwood. Under the bill, players could place bets from their mobile devices, computers or at businesses with licenses to sell liquor for on-site consumption. But HB 1231 was voted down 11-1 by the House Taxation Committee.

HB 1211 was an attempt to broaden the reach of sports betting. The bill looked to allow a business with a liquor license to feature a sports betting kiosk that would be connected to a Deadwood casino. The committee also rejected that bill.

But Rodman hopes that SB 44’s progression starts a more progressive sports gaming movement in the state.

“I think the legislature and the governor looked at it with kind of a go-slow approach,” he said. “Let’s get sports wagering implemented and let’s make sure that we can properly handle sports wagering and properly regulate it. Then we can look down the road. That’s my perception.

“I know that there were conversations and some legislators were amenable to expanding it to outside of the city limits of Deadwood, so we’ll just have to wait and see how that plays out in future legislature. We’re just pleased they moved forward with the will of the people and we’re going to get that up and running this year.”

North Dakota Also Considering Sports Betting

North Dakota had been making progress on legislation to expand online gaming options in the state.

The House of Representatives passed two resolutions that would place both legalized sports betting and online poker on the ballot in North Dakota in November 2022. A Senate committee introduced to HB 1234, which sets the framework for gaming, on Monday