Today’s dead tree edition of the Argus Leader (previously available on-line) has a story on how former Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen is representing the Deadwood Gaming Association in their bid for a statewide ballot measure to capture sports betting exclusively for the community which currently plays exclusive host to the state’s legalized gaming.
Did I say exclusively? Except for the tribal casinos, who will be allowed to have it too.
The Deadwood Gaming Association has filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office to bring a constitutional amendment that would add sports betting to the list of games already offered in the town’s casinos, including card games, slots, keno and craps. If voters allowed Deadwood to offer sports betting, the state’s tribal casinos would also be permitted.
Roger Tellinghuisen, who represents the association, said the town’s casinos view sports betting as a tool to boost tourism as opposed to netting huge new revenues. Sports betting could entice more people to visit the city or stay an extra night in Deadwood, which fills hotels and restaurants.
Not to throw cold water on it… but is it just me, or has the gloss come off of Deadwood somewhat as a travel destination in recent years? We started with $5 gaming limits. Then we raised it to $100 in 2000 so they could hold their own against regional competition. Then we raised again to $1,000 in 2012.
Now, as Yankton has started looking to get into the casino business too, Deadwood is starting a push to get the sort-of exclusive on sports betting to enhance their revenues? I don’t think Deadwood’s problem is the lack of gaming options. I think it’s the lack of other things.
We’ve kept adding more gambling in Deadwood, and as someone who would go there on occasion with my wife for a quick getaway, from my personal experience, it was A LOT more fun to visit Deadwood when gaming had a $5 limit as opposed to recent years. There were more restaurants. Actually, there seemed to be just more to do.
Now, it seems that little changes between visits every year or so. I’d be more apt to make the trip if there was a musical act at the Deadwood Grand I wanted to see, as opposed to suddenly having the opportunity to bet on the Vikings,
Not to be a prude, but to be honest, I’m just not feeling the same impetus or excitement to sign a petition or to encourage a yes vote on this, versus when they were first pushing to make it legal. I’m not sure how giving them the exclusive right for sports betting is going to add the shine back to the historic community and enhance them as a destination.
If we’re going to vote as a state on it.. Honestly, I’m not sure what it does for me as a voter.
If South Dakota was going to put it to a vote to enhance gaming in South Dakota, I’d rather have them put some of the proceeds from sports betting into revitalizing horse racing on a statewide basis than dedicating it exclusively into Deadwood. Those segments of gaming seemed to have declined more than Deadwood has in recent years, and a shot in the arm might also have a broad side-effect of enhancing equestrian related industries in the state as well as equine programs at SDSU with increased interest in racing.
But that’s just me.There might be a lot of other things we could try, or different needs we could dedicate the funds to.
What are your thoughts? Should we give Deadwood gaming another bump in addition to the two previous ones? Should we say no, as we’ve expanded gaming enough.
Or should we look at a third way?
The floor is yours.