Gambling Laws of South Dakota Legal State of Gambling

For much of its history, South Dakota maintained a staunch stance against gambling within its borders. Following the state's establishment in the early 20th century, gambling faced a swift prohibition, officially outlawed in 1905. This stringent stance endured for over eight decades until a pivotal turning point in 1989, when the legislative landscape underwent a transformative shift. South Dakota took a historic step by legalizing gambling, albeit in a limited scope, confining its legality solely to the town of Deadwood. This marked the first crack in the state's longstanding anti-gambling policies, introducing a framework for regulated gambling activities within a specified area, significantly altering the trajectory of gambling laws and practices in South Dakota.

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Overview of Online Gambling in South Dakota

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For online gambling enthusiasts in South Dakota, the landscape has remained largely barren, devoid of legal real money online casinos within the state's boundaries. While the introduction of online sports betting emerged in 2021, it came with substantial restrictions. The legalization was confined strictly to Deadwood, where designated licensed gaming establishments and tribal casinos within the city gained approval for on-site sports betting. However, the scope of this advancement remained notably limited, denying South Dakota residents the liberty to engage in broader online sports wagering activities outside these specified locations. Despite the potential for mobile applications linked to partner casinos, the legal framework strictly stipulates that any online sports wagering can only occur within the physical confines of the approved gaming establishments, presenting a significant hurdle for broader access to online sports betting.

Efforts to expand the reach of online sports betting beyond Deadwood's confines have encountered legislative hurdles within South Dakota. Recent endeavors in 2022 aimed at broadening the scope of online sports betting statewide have encountered resistance within the state legislature, failing to progress beyond the initial stages. South Dakota's existing legislation, detailed under Title 42, Chapter 7B of the state's Codified Laws, maintains a stringent stance, limiting the scope of permissible online sports wagering solely to licensed gaming establishments in Deadwood. This legislative landscape underscores the challenges faced in attempting to expand online gambling options for South Dakotans, reflecting the persisting constraints and stringent regulations governing the state's gambling practices.

The Legal Gambling Status in South Dakota

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In South Dakota, the realm of legalized gambling encompasses various activities regulated within specific parameters. Bingo games, governed by charitable gaming laws, operate legally under authorized organizations, providing a platform for charitable fundraising within the state. South Dakota hosts a state-operated lottery, offering various games such as scratch-offs, draw games, and lotto, providing entertainment while contributing to state funds. Tribal casinos constitute another facet of the state's gambling landscape, authorized by compact agreements with Native American tribes, enabling them to operate casinos with various gaming options. However, parimutuel betting on horse racing, once outlawed for decades, was later legalized in Deadwood, signifying a limited expansion of gambling activities within the city's confines. This assortment of permitted gambling activities in South Dakota reflects a regulatory framework that embraces specific forms of gaming while imposing constraints on others within the state's jurisdiction.

Type of Gambling Legal Status Description
Bingo Legal Charitable gaming under regulated organizations.
Lottery Legal State-operated games such as scratch-offs and lotto.
Tribal Casinos Legal Casinos operated by Native American tribes.
Parimutuel Betting Legal (Limited) Betting on horse racing permitted in Deadwood.
Commercial Casinos Illegal No commercial casinos operate within the state.
Online Casinos Illegal Real money online casino gambling not permitted.
Sports Betting Limited Legal Sports betting allowed in Deadwood & tribal casinos.
Poker Rooms Illegal Poker rooms are not authorized in South Dakota.
Off-Track Betting Illegal Betting on races outside racetracks is not allowed.

License for Online Casinos in South Dakota

In South Dakota, the operation of online casinos remains illegal under state law. Consequently, there are no provisions for obtaining licenses or legal authorization to operate online casinos within the state's jurisdiction. The stringent regulations against online casino gambling in South Dakota mean that individuals or entities seeking to establish online casino platforms cannot obtain licenses or official approval to conduct such activities. Online casinos remain prohibited, reflecting the state's unwavering stance against online gambling within its boundaries.

History and Timeline for South Dakota Online Gambling

This timeline outlines the sequence of events that culminated in the legalization of gambling in the state of South Dakota.

South Dakota's gambling history intricately intertwines with its Old West legacy, notably highlighted by legendary tales from the Black Hills Gold Rush era, including the notorious final poker game of James “Wild Bill” Hickok. The state's pivot towards legal gambling in 1989, centered in Deadwood, marked a pivotal moment, making South Dakota the third state after Nevada and New Jersey to embrace casino-style gambling. This historic move saw revenue funneled into historic restoration and preservation efforts, fostering Deadwood's reputation as the nucleus of the state's non-tribal casino industry. Subsequent expansions included the inception of Native American casinos a year later in 1990 and the establishment of a state lottery the same year. Although South Dakota's gambling landscape expanded with the introduction of video lottery terminals, legal battles ensued before their affirmation in 1994.

  • 1905: South Dakota officially outlaws gambling activities within its territory.
  • 1989: Legalized limited-stakes gambling is approved by South Dakota voters, leading to the opening of the state's first casinos in Deadwood.
  • 1989: Introduction of the South Dakota state lottery, followed by the commencement of video lottery terminals.
  • 1990: Inauguration of the first Native American casinos, a year after the launch of non-tribal casinos in Deadwood.
  • 1994: Resolution of legal battles, affirming the legality of video lottery terminals despite earlier attempts to prohibit them.

Legalization of Sports Betting in South Dakota

  • 2019: Introduction of a bipartisan Senate bill proposing sports betting in Deadwood casinos; Senate passed SJR 2, but a House committee did not recommend the bill.
  • 2020: House passed SJR 501, leading to a vote on legalizing sports betting in Deadwood, approved by nearly 60% of voters in November.
  • 2021: Legislation legalizing sports betting in Deadwood was passed with support from voters; regulators swiftly worked on industry rules; ceremonial first sports bet placed at Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort in September.
  • 2022: Senate passed a ballot proposal for mobile sports betting; faced opposition in the House; SJR 502 proposed online sports betting amendment, passed the Senate but fell short in the House during the legislative session.
  • 2023: South Dakota's sports betting handle for the fiscal year ending September reached about $1.2 billion, showing a 2.63% increase from the previous year; International Gaming Technology (IGT) extended its contract with the South Dakota Lottery for five years in November.

Legalization of Online Gambling in South Dakota

In South Dakota, the operation of online casinos is strictly prohibited under state law. The legal framework in the state explicitly forbids the establishment and operation of online casinos within its jurisdiction. Individuals or entities seeking to launch or engage in online casino activities within South Dakota's boundaries are subject to stringent regulations that deem such endeavors illegal. As of the most recent laws and regulations, the state maintains a firm stance against online casino gambling, emphasizing the prohibition of these activities, ensuring that no legal provisions or licenses are available for conducting online casino operations within South Dakota.

Legal Gambling Forms in South Dakota

In South Dakota, legalized gambling takes various forms within specific confines of the law. The state hosts a lottery system operated by the government, offering games such as scratch-offs and lotto to its residents. Tribal casinos, authorized through agreements with Native American tribes, provide gambling options within specific parameters. Limited-stakes gambling, including slots and table games, is permissible in Deadwood, a historical town recognized for its association with Wild West gambling lore. Charitable gaming, such as bingo, conducted under regulated organizations, also constitutes a legal form of gambling within South Dakota. However, online casinos and commercial casinos outside of Deadwood remain illegal under state regulations, delineating the boundaries of permissible gambling activities within the state.

The legal age for engaging in gambling activities, including lottery, bingo, tribal casinos, and limited-stakes gambling in Deadwood, South Dakota, is 21 years old.

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South Dakota Online Casinos

In South Dakota, online casinos are currently considered illegal according to state laws. Engaging in online casino activities may be subject to legal consequences within the state.
Sports Betting Icon

South Dakota Sports Betting

Sports betting is legal in South Dakota's tribal casinos, following the passage of legislation allowing for this activity within the tribal gaming establishments. Residents and visitors can enjoy sports wagering within these specific casino locations in compliance with state regulations.
poker

South Dakota Online Poker

Online poker is illegal in South Dakota, and there is no discussion about legalizing it on the horizon. However, you can play at sweepstakes online poker sites in South Dakota for real cash prizes.
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South Dakota Bingo

Bingo is a popular and legal form of gambling in South Dakota, commonly offered in various venues, including charitable organizations, tribal casinos, and dedicated bingo halls throughout the state.
blackjack

South Dakota Blackjack

In South Dakota, blackjack is legal and can be played at licensed casinos. The legal age to play blackjack and other forms of gambling in casinos in South Dakota is 21 years old, in accordance with state regulations.
lottery

South Dakota Lotteries

South Dakota operates a state lottery offering various games, including scratch-offs and draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions. The revenue generated from the lottery is often allocated to support education and other state programs.
Horse Racing Icon

South Dakota Parimutuel Betting

Parimutuel Betting in South Dakota is legal. Pari-mutuel horse racing is limited to live horse racing at the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Fort Pierre and Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen.
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South Dakota Prohibited Gambling Activities

In South Dakota, certain gambling activities are prohibited by law, such as online gambling outside of authorized tribal or licensed casino operations. Additionally, unauthorized games or operations that do not comply with state regulations are considered illegal.

Check Out These Online Casinos Available in South Dakota

Discover a variety of permitted online casinos accessible in South Dakota, where you have the freedom to select your preferred type of gambling entertainment. As part of the registration process within these platforms, age verification is a mandatory step to ensure compliance with legal betting age requirements. Choose from a diverse array of gambling options available at these authorized online casinos in South Dakota, all while undergoing the necessary verification to ensure a safe and lawful gaming experience.

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Legalization of Bingo in South Dakota

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South Dakota's history with bingo legislation reflects a nuanced evolution in its approach to games of chance. In 1969, the state witnessed a crackdown on illegal gambling spearheaded by Republican Attorney General Gordon Mydland, targeting unauthorized bingo operations in VFWs and American Legion halls. However, the subsequent public sentiment against these raids prompted legislative action. In response, the South Dakota Legislature enacted a new law in 1970 that legalized limited bingo games, raffles, and lotteries specifically for select public-spirited organizations. This pivotal legislation garnered significant voter support, securing a 59 percent approval in a statewide election. This legislative shift marked a turning point, creating a framework that allowed regulated bingo and other charitable gaming activities to operate legally in South Dakota.

Legalization of Blackjack in South Dakota

blackjack

In 1989, a landmark decision in South Dakota paved the way for the legalization of gaming specifically in Deadwood, a pivotal development that included the authorization of blackjack among other games. This historic move marked the initiation of legal gambling activities within the city limits, allowing for the commencement of poker, blackjack, and slot machines by November of that year. However, strict limitations were imposed, constraining bets to a maximum of five dollars and capping the number of games and slot machines per operator at a maximum of 30. This legalization of blackjack in Deadwood signified a notable departure from the state's traditional stance on gambling, introducing a controlled environment for specific gaming activities within this designated region of South Dakota.

Legalization of Lotteries in South Dakota

Lottery Icon

The genesis of the South Dakota Lottery dates back to a pivotal moment when voters approved its creation through a referendum in 1986, followed by official sanctioning in 1987. This monumental decision emerged from a voter referendum, marking a significant shift in the state's approach to gaming. With resounding public support, South Dakota embraced the establishment of its state-operated lottery system, setting the stage for the introduction of various games of chance, including scratch-offs, draw games, and lotto. The lottery's inception, rooted in a democratic mandate, signaled a transformative leap towards offering entertainment and contributing to state funds through legalized gaming activities.

South Dakota Parimutuel Betting

Horse Racing Icon

South Dakota has embraced a diverse array of opportunities for parimutuel betting within the state. The approval of sports betting in the 2020 election marked a significant milestone, with four casinos in Deadwood commencing sports betting operations in September 2021. Additionally, horse betting enthusiasts in South Dakota have various avenues for enjoying this form of gambling. While live racing occurs at the Stanley County Fair and the Brown County Fair during their summer meets, the state also features an off-track betting location at the Triple Crown Casino in North Sioux City. This venue provides patrons with both simulcast wagering and video lottery options. Furthermore, South Dakotans keen on horse racing can engage in online betting through licensed horse betting sites, offering wagering opportunities to individuals over the age of 18 across the country. The state's diversified options in parimutuel betting cater to the preferences of bettors and highlight the evolving landscape of gambling opportunities in South Dakota.

South Dakota Prohibited Gambling Activities

In South Dakota, while certain forms of gambling are legally sanctioned, the state maintains stringent regulations prohibiting specific gambling activities. Games of chance are generally prohibited, except under specific exemptions such as those granted for Deadwood gaming, the state lottery, and charitable purposes like bingo and raffles conducted by qualifying non-profit organizations. The state enforces prohibitions against unauthorized gambling operations, with laws strictly regulating and restricting certain gambling practices outside the authorized exemptions. The South Dakota Legislature has established a framework that explicitly prohibits unauthorized gambling activities, aiming to curb and discourage illegal gambling practices within the state's jurisdiction.

Gambling in South Dakota – Licensing, Tax and Fees

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In South Dakota, gaming operations are subject to specific taxation and licensing regulations outlined by the SDCL (South Dakota Codified Laws). The state imposes a nine percent tax on the adjusted gross proceeds generated from authorized gaming activities, as per SDCL 42-7B-28 & 28.1. Additionally, for each card game or slot machine situated within a licensed premise, a license stamp fee of two thousand dollars per annum is required under SDCL 42-7B-23. Gaming operators must adhere to a structured fee schedule, including an application fee of $1,000, a license fee of $1,000, and an annual renewal fee of $200, applicable within the fiscal year from July through June. These fees, alongside the taxation model, collectively form the framework for gaming-related financial obligations and licensing requirements for gaming entities operating within South Dakota's jurisdiction.

Important Questions for Gambling Laws of South Dakota

Is online gambling legal in South Dakota?

No, online gambling, including online casinos, remains illegal in South Dakota. The state's laws strictly prohibit online gambling activities within its jurisdiction. Therefore, individuals or entities seeking to engage in online gambling or operate online casinos in South Dakota are subject to legal restrictions, and there are no provisions or licenses available to conduct such activities legally within the state.

What is the minimum age requirement for engaging in online casinos, sports betting, and poker in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, individuals must be at least 21 years old to participate in various forms of gambling, including online casinos, sports betting, poker, the state lottery, bingo, tribal casinos, and limited-stakes gambling in Deadwood. Adherence to the specific age limits stipulated by South Dakota's gambling regulations is necessary for engaging in different gambling activities within the state.

How does parimutuel betting work in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, parimutuel betting involves a system where bets are pooled together, and the odds are determined based on the total wagered amount on a particular event or race. This betting method is commonly used for horse racing and sometimes for other sports events. Patrons place bets on various outcomes, contributing to a collective pool. After deducting taxes and fees, the remaining pool is distributed among the winners, with payouts based on the size of their wager and the final odds at the conclusion of the event. South Dakota offers parimutuel betting opportunities at select live racing events held during specific county fairs and through off-track betting locations, providing individuals with the chance to wager on races both in-person and via authorized online platforms.

What types of gambling are legally permissible in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, legally permissible forms of gambling include sports betting, poker, lotteries, bingo, horse racing, and land-based casinos.

Forms of Gambling Legal Age Description
Lottery 21 State-operated games like scratch-offs, lotto, and draw games.
Bingo 21 Game of chance usually played for fundraising or entertainment purposes.
Tribal Casinos 21 Casinos operated by Native American tribes offering various gaming options.
Limited-stakes Gambling 21 Casino-style games permitted exclusively in Deadwood with betting limitations.
Sports Betting 21 Wagering on sports events permitted in Deadwood casinos.
Horse Betting 18 Betting on horse races, available at live events, off-track betting locations, and online platforms.
Online Gambling (Illegal) N/A All forms of online gambling, including online casinos, are prohibited.

Which regulatory bodies oversee gambling activities in South Dakota?

In South Dakota, gambling activities are regulated and overseen by different entities responsible for various aspects of gaming within the state:

  1. South Dakota Commission on Gaming: This regulatory body is primarily responsible for overseeing and regulating gaming activities in the state. It administers licenses, enforces gaming laws, and ensures compliance with regulations in authorized gambling establishments.
  2. South Dakota Department of Revenue: The department plays a role in gaming regulation, particularly concerning taxation and financial aspects related to gaming revenues. It manages the collection of gaming taxes and fees imposed on gambling establishments.
  3. South Dakota Lottery: The state lottery operates under the South Dakota Lottery Commission and oversees the administration and regulation of lottery games, including scratch-offs, lotto, and other draw games.
  4. Tribal Gaming Commissions: Tribal casinos are regulated by their respective tribal gaming commissions. These commissions are responsible for overseeing gaming operations, issuing licenses, and ensuring compliance with tribal gaming ordinances and federal laws.
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Jessica Bozukova | Senior Content Writer

Jessica is a skilled writer adept at crafting unique casino reviews, bonus pages, slot analyses, and exciting gaming news. Her expertise lies in delivering compelling content tailored for the avid gaming community.
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