PIERRE—Members of the South Dakota Lottery Commission want their staff to step back from a security study for video lottery establishments. The objections raised Thursday by chairman Chuck Turbiville, of Deadwood, and member Bob Hartford, of Pierre, focused most on the possible financial impacts on businesses that have just a few machines. The South Dakota Lottery's executive director, Norm Lingle, suggested that his staff take the coming weeks and return with a revised recommendation at the commission's next meeting Sept. 15.
PIERRE — Soon we will have one more path to financial and family ruin, with the legalization of fantasy sports betting now upon us. The New York Times headline during the past week told the story: "Win for DraftKings and FanDuel Opens Door for Sports Betting in New York." The state's governor, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law the legislation placing fantasy sports betting under the state government's regulation. It seems inevitable such legislation shall follow in South Dakota during the 2017 session come January.
PIERRE — South Dakota saw more video lottery terminals in operation during July and the amount of money that players lost went up as well. That was one piece of the summary delivered Thursday to the South Dakota Lottery Commission. The other parts showed sales of instant-win tickets lagging while lotto sales were up. Clark Hepper, the deputy administrator for the South Dakota Lottery, told commissioners the expectation is lotto sales eventually will drop behind the pace of a year ago.
PIERRE — The new land acquisition policy approved Thursday by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission will apply to the Parks and Recreation Division as well as the Wildlife Division and calls for earlier word to the commission about possible purchases. An example of that change in approach was on display at the commission's meeting. In addition to one pending purchase that eventually would need the commission's approval, there are 10 potential acquisitions in the works.
PIERRE — The South Dakota Lottery wants to offer mobile digital applications for people's hand-held telephone devices no later than next summer, executive director Norm Lingle said Thursday. "Really I see this as a necessary next step for the South Dakota Lottery," Lingle told members of the state Lottery Commission. Linge said he and staff members are working with the Lawrence and Schiller marketing firm that handles the lottery's advertising.
PIERRE — For three hours Wednesday, members of the South Dakota Board of Regents and state university presidents discussed whether to set a goal that 65 percent of people ages 25-34 should have some type of higher-education degree by 2025. According to the most recent estimate, using 2014 data, 45 percent of South Dakotans in that age group have some type of post-high school degree.
PIERRE — State regulators agreed Tuesday to dismiss the dispute between two utilities competing to deliver electricity to a proposed grain elevator and railroad center in northern Yankton County. Instead NorthWestern Energy and Bon Homme Yankton Electric Association will serve the portions of the site that are within their official service territories. Dakota Plains Ag Center wanted NorthWestern, an investor-owned company, to be its sole provider. Bon Homme Yankton Electric, which contested the NorthWestern deal, is a member-owned rural cooperative.
PIERRE — Black Hills Power invested more than $10 million during the past three years trimming trees and other vegetation along its electricity lines, according to a report approved Tuesday by the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission. The Rapid City-based utility intends to spend about $10 million more to continue the work during 2016 and 2017. The company wants to get all rights-of-way trimmed within five years. The project results from a 2012 agreement between the company and the commission to protect the utility's distribution system.
PIERRE — The Governor's Office of Economic Development is stressing relationships with community organizations and has a three-year recruitment campaign costing $3 million to bring workers to South Dakota, an official for the agency said Monday. Aaron Scheibe, the interim commissioner, met with the Legislative Planning Committee to discuss the office's strategic plan and agree on measurement goals. The lawmakers also brought in Cabinet-level officials from the Game, Fish and Parks; Transportation; and Tourism departments for similar conversations.
PIERRE — The state Board of Regents whose members govern South Dakota's public universities plan significant discussions this week about balancing the system's long-term finances and enrollments trends. The six universities as a whole have increasingly turned to non-resident students to cover debt and operating expenses while students increasingly select distance education courses. At the same time the regents want to play a larger role in helping South Dakota's businesses and workforce fill their economic potential.