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Lederman Fails Again to Expand Video Lottery

Republican Senator Dan Lederman tried to expand video lottery again, and this time, to their credit, his fellow Senators turned him down.

Two weeks ago, the Senator from Dakota Dunes brought Senate Bill 139 to the Senate floor. Senator Lederman sought to increase the maximum number of video lottery machines that a lottery-licensed bar or restaurant can install from ten to fifteen. Senator Lederman said that 1,400 South Dakota establishments have video lottery licenses, but only 460 of them have ten machines. Statewide there are 8,900 active terminals and another 1,100 licensed but inactive terminals. Senator Lederman said SB 139 would allow businesses to “redeploy” video lottery machines to respond to market demand.

Senator Lederman said SB 139 was not an “expansion” of gaming but an “attempt to regain market share” lost to bordering states’ casinos due to our smoking ban. to smoking ban across the border. Never mind that Senator Lederman represents a district that draws lots of gamblers into South Dakota from neighboring Sioux City and that Lederman’s proposal would allow them to expand their operations.

Senator Corey Brown (R-23/Gettysburg) tried to give Lederman’s “not an expansion” line some reinforcement by amending SB 139 to set a statewide cap on video lottery machines at 14,000. But Senator Bernie Hunhoff (D-18/Yankton) was not fooled. Senator Hunhoff, the conscience of the Senate, called Senator Lederman’s description of the bill “Orwellian”—”this is clearly an expansion.” Senator Hunhoff admitted that South Dakota is in the business of gambling and that we have an obligation to be good partners with the small businesses who host our gambling machines. But Senator Hunhoff said our obligation to maximize profit is matched by our obligation to act responsibly. He said we already “fall far short” in our efforts to identify and help problem gamblers. He said our advertising goes too far in promoting gambling. Before we allow any video lottery expansion, Senator Hunhoff said we need to study problem gambling and expand our efforts to prevent the social ills that our gambling business causes.

Senator David Omdahl (R-11/Sioux Falls) joined Senator Hunhoff in opposing SB 139. He said simply that he has personal knowledge of the damage gambling does to families. The social ills of gambling make video lottery “a poor way to raise revenues,” said Senator Omdahl.

Senator Lederman admitted gambling has social ills, just like drugs and alcohol, but the $97 million generated by video lottery “buys a lot of good for our state.” He urged his fellow Senators to “give[…] our small businesses a chance to compete.”

The majority did not buy that argument. The Senate voted SB 139 down 13–21. That’s nine ayes fewer than Senator Lederman was able to secure for a similar video-lottery-expansion proposal last year.

The Senate hears a pro-business argument from free-marketeer Dan Lederman, and the Senate turns him down. Hmm… maybe our Legislature is getting better!


  1. Owen 2015-03-09 12:46

    And where was that 97 millions dollars supposed to go to? Education

  2. mike from iowa 2015-03-09 12:57

    Sioux City has a floating casino wingnuts in South Dakota could buy and use for campaign junkets and for pimping votes by boat and let the ethics float. Less than a mile or so to Round’s digs on the beach,ain’t it?

  3. larry kurtz 2015-03-09 13:20

    Lederman seeking to build revenue funded by addicts living the low life for his ethics-free business interests: what a freaking surprise.

  4. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-09 14:36

    $97 million would go a long way to fixing our transportation infrastructure or education problems.

    With the “good” that video lottery revenues provide it should also prevent the $.06 per gallon gas tax increase the SDGOP wants to add to taxpayers.

  5. mike from iowa 2015-03-09 14:54

    Roger,I bought a 50 # bag of seed potatoes for $18.00 and sales tax @ 7% added another $1.26 to the cost,plus gas taxes went up 10 cents last week. Someday,after about 50 years of griping, iowa will have a four lane US Hiway 20 from border to border. W/O fuel taxes it won’t ever get done.

  6. Jana 2015-03-09 15:40

    Well the great news is those bold legislators in Pierre said to hell with safety and bad roads…let’s all drive at 80 mph! That’ll show those libtards that we mean business.

    On a separate note, Grandpa and Grandma, please be carefull on your next trip to see your grandchildren. The speed limit is now 80 and some idiot might rear end you while you are driving cautiously. Sorry this might stress you out, but we have legislators here who think the speed limit is just a suggestion and raising it shows their contempt for government control. Don’t worry though, they still rely on the Federal Government to fund most of our state.

    I know…go figure!

  7. Roger Cornelius 2015-03-09 15:46

    mike from iowa,

    I understand the need for gas taxes to repair and maintain our highways, what I am suggesting is that there is likely no accountability for the $97 million from video gaming is actually spent on.

    And, all of a sudden our broken roads have become a priority for Daugaard, the republicans have had forty years to work on this, would a part of that $97 million spread over the years have been better spent on road improvements that would have prevented an increase in gas taxes?

  8. Jana 2015-03-09 17:03

    Roger, Governor Daugaard likes to hold himself up as a beacon of being a good steward of South Dakotan’s money.

    He has been in a leadership role for over a decade and overseen the demise of our infrastructure and still thinks he’s a good steward of money.

    He must be thinking it will be cheaper to build when the younger generation has to pay for it.

    Say, does anyone remember when the GOP was talking about the wise investment in placing necessary capital improvements in the…well…capital? You know the one in Pierre that serves as the club house for the good old boys club?

  9. MOSES 2015-03-09 20:49

    lederman, how does this guy get elected in union county, cant they do any better than this guy.

  10. Steve Hickey 2015-03-09 20:49

    When lottery revenues are up that means more SDns are losing money. The state has no business being in the gaming business.

  11. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-09 21:28

    “When lottery revenues are up that means more SDns are losing money.”

    Very, very well put Hickey.

  12. Jana 2015-03-09 21:37

    Well put Rev. Hickey.

    I would ask each legislator what it means when this state that they govern is funded by usury, gambling and big government.

    Then I would give them permission to get back to their conservative and religious dogma…but only if they will admit to the very addictions that they ignore on Sunday morning and their stump speeches.

  13. Jana 2015-03-09 22:30

    In other news, John Thune had barely gotten off his knees to Bibi when as part of the Senate leadership he sent a letter to Iran saying that it doesn’t matter what the US Government and the other Western nations negotiate. He and his fellow partisan grandstanding hacks are willing to enter into war. Just not with their kids or their money.

    Onward Christian Soldiers.

  14. Deb Geelsdottir 2015-03-09 22:34

    Jana, those senators are being destructive to American foreign policy. Isn’t that treasonous?

  15. Jana 2015-03-09 22:39

    Add newly elected parrot Senator Rounds to the mix and we have 2 Senators from South Dakota who have violated the Logan Act.

    Or are they just the post-Bush iteration of the Dixie Chicks. Although I think the girls have more substance.

  16. Jana 2015-03-09 22:48

    Sorry for the brief interruption and thank you Cory for allowing my editorial rant…

    But just one last note. Media, just because Thune, Rounds and Noem are in Washington, what they do their is our business and done in our name. Report what they are doing rather than just transcribing what they send you!

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

  17. Jana 2015-03-09 22:49

    Ok…just a correction. There not their…sorry.

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