STATEHOUSE ROUNDUP: Lottery play on the upswing in SDNet machine income -- the money left behind by players in video lottery terminals after winnings are paid -- hit $127 million during the first 36 weeks of the current fiscal year.
By: Bob Mercer, Republic Capitol Bureau
PIERRE -- Lottery play is up in South Dakota through early March.
Net machine income -- the money left behind by players in video lottery terminals after winnings are paid -- hit $127 million during the first 36 weeks of the current fiscal year.
That was about 4.8 percent more than the $121.1 million at the same 36-week mark a year ago.
The number of terminals was up, too -- 9,120 versus 9,063 last year -- while there were fewer establishments this year, 1,417 versus 1,521.
South Dakota Lottery officials report that sales of instant tickets were up about $500,000 at about $16.9 million, and sales of lotto jackpot tickets through 36 weeks were $21.6 million. That’s about $3.3 million ahead of last year’s lotto pace.
The state Lottery Commission meets Wednesday in Pierre. The gathering will mark the first meeting for new commissioners Chuck Turbiville, of Deadwood, and Jim Putnam, of Armour. The two former legislators were appointed by the governor early this year.
PAROLE APPOINTMENT: The recent decision by Gov. Dennis Daugaard to name retired magistrate judge and prosecutor Mark Smith, of Pierre, to the South Dakota Board of Pardons and Paroles came as a surprise.
Smith replaces incumbent William Grode, of Pennington County, who was scheduled for a confirmation hearing Feb. 7 by the Senate Judiciary Committee.
That morning, however, the panel’s chairman, Sen. Craig Tieszen, announced that Grode would meet with the committee at a later date when his parole work brought him through Pierre. “That’ll be postponed indefinitely,” said Tieszen, R-Rapid City.
On March 8, the governor appointed Smith instead of Grode. “He has to step aside due to some health and family issues,” said the governor’s spokesman, Tony Venhuizen.
Grode served on the board since the governor appointed him in February 2012.
REAPPOINTMENTS: The governor gave new terms to a half-dozen men currently serving on state boards and commissions.
Dennis Duncan, of Parker, and Ralph Kemnitz, of Philip, were reappointed to the state Commission on Gaming, whose members oversee horse racing and Deadwood gambling.
Don Roby, of Watertown, and Rodney Fouberg, of Aberdeen, were reappointed to the state Transportation Commission. Fouberg is the panel’s chairman this year.
Robert Cronin, of Fort Pierre, and Steve Nielson, of Winner, were reappointed to the State Electrical Commission.