Gerlach wants state government to be prepared for sports betting
PIERRE -- A "white paper" prepared by the state Department of Revenue recommends steps South Dakota should take to be ready if the U.S. Supreme Court allows sports betting to be legal beyond Nevada.
PIERRE - A "white paper" prepared by the state Department of Revenue recommends steps South Dakota should take to be ready if the U.S. Supreme Court allows sports betting to be legal beyond Nevada.
The nation's highest court heard New Jersey's challenge to the federal law Dec. 4.
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard supported New Jersey's position, according to state Revenue Secretary Andy Gerlach.
One of the agencies the revenue department oversees is the Commission on Gaming. The commission regulates betting on horse and dog races and Deadwood gambling houses.
Gerlach's department provided a copy of the white paper last week.
The document said South Dakota agreed with the brief filed by the National Governors Association arguing states should decide their laws.
Nineteen states signed the brief but South Dakota didn't, according to the document.
During a conversation outside the state Senate chamber, Gerlach said last week South Dakota officials should put state government into a favorable position in the event that the Supreme Court decision opens sports betting beyond Nevada.
The first step would be a change to the South Dakota Constitution, Gerlach said. The Legislature is allowed to directly propose constitutional amendments for statewide votes if majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives agree.
From that point other steps could follow, he said.
The white paper outlines them:
The Commission on Gaming would need to have authority to regulate sports betting.
The department recommends sports betting occur only at establishments licensed by the Commission on Gaming.
Under federal law, tribal governments can conduct any gambling authorized by state law if there is a legal agreement in place between a tribe and a state.
That means current gambling compacts would need changes for sports betting to occur at tribal casinos in South Dakota.
The white paper recommends prohibiting individuals from receiving licenses to legally accept bets.
The Legislature also would determine how to tax the amount charged by the establishment for taking the bet from the gambler.
The white paper also states that any South Dakota establishment accepting sports bets should be part of a large pool of bets, likely through a multi-state organization similar to what's used for many lotto games such as Powerball.
The South Dakota Lottery operates lotto games and is also part of the Revenue Department's responsibilities.
"While South Dakota does not have a position on sports betting, the items listed above need to be considered by policy makers," the document said.