Press "Enter" to skip to content

SJR 502: Allow Online Sports Betting Through Deadwood Servers

Sports betting is apparently drawing enough interest that some legislators and their gambling friends want to expand it. Hot on the heels of voters’ 2020 approval of Amendment B to legalize sports betting in Deadwood, Senator Kyle Schoenfish (R-19/Scotland) wants this year’s voters to add online sports betting to our recreational opportunities.

Senator Schoenfish proposes Senate Joint Resolution 502, which would place before November voters an amendment to Article 3 Section 25, our constitutional gambling provision. SJR 502 would add one sentence to allow the Legislature to legalize and regulate online sports betting:

Further, the Legislature shall authorize by law wagering on sporting events by individuals located within and outside the city limits of Deadwood, by means of a mobile or electronic platform, so long as the mobile or electronic platform has its servers located within the city limits of Deadwood [2022 SJR 502, proposed clause to insert into SD Const. Art. 3 Sec. 25, filed 2022.01.18].

SJR 502 allows gamblers to bet on the Wild and Bart Brunson from the comfort of their phones wherever they may be, but their bets still have to pass through servers located in Deadwood. Representative Tom Pischke (R-25/Dell Rapids) proposed a similar bill (2021 HB 1231) authorizing online betting through Deadwood servers last year, but House Taxation nixed that idea. Rep. Pischke is a co-sponsor of SJR 502.

If the legislature places online sports betting on the November ballot, voters should note that locating the servers in Deadwood doesn’t mean the Deadwood casinos will control that betting. Any business could buy an office in Deadwood, hook up a server and a fiber-optic line, and start making money from remote gamblers worldwide. As written, SJR 502 could create some outside competition for the current casino cartel.

Of course, if the Deadwood casinos and outside gambling businesses sense a business opportunity, why make them wait to expand their market? If we vote on SJR 502 in November, online sports betting wouldn’t become legal until July 1, 2023. The Legislature could easily amend SJR 502 to place online sports betting on the June primary ballot alongside Amendment C. If voters approve online sports betting on June 7, and if the Legislature shows a little foresight and passes a trigger law right now to anticipate that passage, we could legalize online sports betting by this July 1! Then our friends in Deadwood could have online sports betting up and running in time for this year’s Sturgis rallygoers to place their bets on the motorbike hill climbs and other feats of motorcyclical daring right from the race courses!

SJR 502 awaits the attention of Senate Commerce and Energy.


  1. Richard Schriever 2022-01-25 08:16

    FYI – I don’t believe there are any motorcycling sports events associated with the Sturgis rally anymore, even though those were the original impetus back in the before times. Now, it’s just a party.

  2. cibvet 2022-01-25 09:13

    They still have flat track, motocross,hill climb and drag races. Party is before, during and after the races.

  3. larry kurtz 2022-01-25 11:15

    Money Laundering R Us is the new Meth: We’re On It.

  4. Porter Lansing 2022-01-25 14:01

    Told ‘ya.

  5. Mark Anderson 2022-01-25 16:00

    This could lead to a whole new Deadwood tv series.

  6. Guy 2022-01-26 20:49

    Casino economy. When you think of all those billions and billions of dollars gambled away, spent on the war industry and in political campaigns and how that money could be used to build affordable housing for all people who wanted a home, it makes you head and stomach turn. Casino economy, war machine & political grifting while our society rots. Seems like our society is surfing the whirling waters in a toilet bowl.

  7. Guy 2022-01-26 20:55

    My Grandma use to say that the best slot machine was a toilet bowl. Why drive hundreds of miles to a casino when you could have just as much fun throwing your hard-earned cash into the toilet and watch it whirl around before disappearing!

Comments are closed.