Senate approves sports betting item on November ballot


PIERRE (AP) – South Dakota's Senate passed a measure on Tuesday that would let voters decide whether to allow sports betting in the state.

The measure goes next to the House. If they approve, the November ballot will include a question on whether to allow sports betting in Deadwood.

A similar proposal died last year in the House. Gov. Kristi Noem also opposed it last year.

The proposal requires a change to the state constitution, which would require passage in the general election. In 2014, 57 percent of voters passed an amendment that made it possible for keno, craps, and roulette to be played in Deadwood.

Several Native American tribes also operate casinos on tribal land. Those casinos could also offer sports betting if the measure passed.

Sen. Bob Ewing, a Spearfish Republican, introduced the measure and said sports betting benefits the state by bringing in tax and tourism revenue. He pointed out that neighboring states like Iowa are now allowing sports betting after the Supreme Court cleared the way for its legalization.

Ewing argued that many people already bet on sports, so it makes sense to legalize it and profit off it.

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