South Dakota constitution must change before sports betting can be legal

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Sioux Falls, S.D. (KSFY) - Sports gambling may soon emerge from the shadows of the sporting world across the country. Monday, the Supreme Court overturned a 1992 federal law that outlawed sports betting in most states.

So what does it mean for the gambling industry and sports fans close to home? Many people said the decision to legalize sports betting across the country has been a long time coming.

But, in order for sports betting to be legal in South Dakota, the constitution would first have to be changed.

“It would be a process and it would take some time, but it’s a great first step,” Deadwood Gaming Association Executive Director, Mike Rodman said.

Bettors are one step closer to putting money on sports.

“It’s already happening and so by regulating it, I think that it makes it a safer environment,” Rodman said.

The decision to lift the ban on sports betting by the Supreme Court is something many, including The Deadwood Gaming Commission has been following closely.

“Millions of dollars across the country are illegally wagered on sporting events and having it regulated would be a positive impact on states and on commercial gaming,” Rodman said.

In South Dakota, sports betting could become legal three different ways. Congress can approve it, but if that doesn't' happen, the state still has options. A proposed amendment can be placed on the ballot by either lawmakers or through an initiative process.

“If the people of South Dakota voted in November of 2020 that they wanted gaming, then I believe that it would be available in January of 2021,” Rodman said.

Just over the border, The Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort is hoping sports betting becomes legal in Iowa as well.

“March Madness, you know Kentucky Derby, during those times we always get lots of phone calls, ‘Hey do you guys offer sports betting?’”, Grand Falls Casino and Golf Resort General Manager, Sharon Haselhoff said.

They said hopefully next year they'll be able to.

“We’re just looking to create a more exciting environment for our guests. So it’s another opportunity for guests to come out and have fun,” Haselhoff said.

Rodman and Haselhoff said this is such a great step because it takes sports betting off the black market and it could have positive benefits for states through taxes.

Governor Dennis Daugaard issued a statement Monday, saying he's pleased with the ruling because it puts the decision over sports betting in the hands of the states. However, he also re-iterates that a change would need to be made to state laws before it becomes a reality.