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South Dakota OK’s regulated sports betting in very limited manner

Regulated sports betting is turning into a huge business in the United States as it creeps into gambling markets big and small. While some markets, like New Jersey, can expect to see handles approaching $1 billion from time to time, others won’t be anywhere near that robust. One of those smaller markets is South Dakota.

Earlier this week, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed SB 44 into law, opening the state’s gambling market to regulated sports betting. But the bill’s scope is narrow, that it’s unlikely anyone is going to hear too much about big handles from the state’s regulated sportsbooks. That’s because SB 44 allows sports betting only in the town of Deadwood (population 1,548) and no real mobile betting.

Any SD resident looking to engage in regulated sports betting in the state will be limited to placing wagers only from the inside of one of the state’s regulated casinos, and must register in person. This is not the recipe for a thriving sports betting market.

South Dakota is, population-wise, a very small state with fewer than one million people in the entire state. But the largest population center in the state, Sioux Falls, is an almost six-hour drive from Deadwood, according to a report on That’s great news for the regulated sports betting operators in Iowa, which are only a few miles away from Sioux Falls and do not require in-person registration.

The good news is that the bar for entry into the SD sports betting market is very low. A sports betting license application can be had for a mere $2,000 with a $2,000 annual fee.

South Dakota’s regulated sports betting market is expected to launch in September.