Remember that bender we went on over the election, when we voted to re-elect a lying snowflake traitor as President and legalize marijuana and sports betting in South Dakota?
Well, that first part of South Dakota’s sin-binge was rejected by America’s sane and non-seditious majority, and the second part still has to get over Kristi Noem’s hump.
But sports betting in Deadwood, as allowed by our humble Amendment B, has its implementation legislation in the hopper. Senate Bill 44 lays out the particulars for the four magic words—”wagering on sporting events”—that we inserted in Article 3, Section 25 of our Constitution.
SB 44 requires that Deadwood casinos wishing to offer sports betting must pay a $2,000 annual fee for a “sports wagering services provider license.” That $2,000 fee is higher than any other gambling-related license fee.
SB 44 requires any sports wagering take place inside a licensed gaming establishment in Deadwood. You can’t sit in an outdoor café, let alone sit in your car on I-90 or in your living room in Bismarck, and place sports bets.
SB 44 allows betting only on professional, major league sports. Betting on high school, college, or minor-league sports is out.
SB 44 Section 22 includes a Pete Rose rule: casinos may not take bets from players, team members, coaches, team managers, or game officials. Players and casino licensees who violate that rule face a Class 6 felony charge.
SB 44 amends our very recently adopted definition of “cheating” to include messing with the “result of a sporting event or an event within a sporting event” or the “performance or nonperformance of an athlete or competitor during a sporting event.” Interestingly, SB 44 appears not to tie that sports cheating to the statute (SDCL 42-7B-42) that makes some cheating a Class 5 felony. That penalty statute outlaws using or having on one’s person “any cheating device” while playing a licensed game of chance, but it does not otherwise clearly refer to “cheating” itself as a punishable offense. The “cheating” definition seems to exist solely to support the definition of “cheating device”, not to provide the grounds for prosecution of bettors who, say, throw a banana peel onto the first base line or take the goalie out drinking so he’s hung over the next day for the playoff game.
That penalty statute also outlaws using “any fraudulent scheme or technique,” and SB 44 tacks “placing a bet” into the definitions of “fraudulent scheme”and “fraudulent technique”:
(5B)(13) “Fraudulent scheme,” a dishonest or deceptive plan or arrangement used or intended to be used to play a game or slot machine or place a bet, that gives any person an advantage when playing a game or slot machine, or placing a bet;
(5C)(14) “Fraudulent technique,” a dishonest or deceptive procedure or method of playing a game or slot machine, or placing a bet that gives any person an advantage when playing a game or slot machine, or placing a bet [2021 SB 44, original draft, 2021.01.__]
Hmmm… is it really dishonest or deceptive to throw that banana peel in front of a runner or get the goalie drunk? Such actions are clearly dirty, but their intent doesn’t deceive anyone. Such actions don’t cleanly fit the existing language on gambling, which was designed for in-house card games, slots and other games of chance. Instead of simply tacking sports language onto casino provisions, the Department of Revenue, which requested SB 44, may need to propose amendments to its definitions and to the penalty statute to make sure we can charge and convict sports bettors who try to improperly influence the outcomes of games.
Senate Bill 44 provides for the taxation of sports betting, but not explicitly. Once authorized, sports betting will be subject to the same 8% gaming tax and additional 1% tax as all other Deadwood games. The taxes on sports bets will go into the same pot as current casino taxes and be divvied up the same way: the first $6.8 million each year goes to historic restoration preservation in Deadwood, and subsequent amounts each year go 70% to the state general fund, 10% to the other towns in Lawrence County, 10% to Lawrence County school districts, and 10% to Deadwood for more historic restoration and preservation.
These new licenses and rules for Amendment B’s sports betting will cost something to enforce, but neither SB 44 nor any other currently filed bill addresses the cost of launching and regulating this newly legalized recreational activity. yet the Department of Revenue has chosen to put the cash before the horse on recreational marijuana, handing the Legislature Senate Bill 35 to appropriate the much bally-boo-hooed money to implement Amendment A’s marijuana legalization before posting any legislation addressing the actual implementation details. Hmm… maybe Amendment A would have received swifter service from the Executive Branch if it had specified that only the Pierre-friendly Deadwood casino operators could sell recreational marijuana.