Adding sports betting to Deadwood’s offerings….Yea, Nay, or a different option? What are your thoughts?

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.

Read that here.

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.

20 Replies to “Adding sports betting to Deadwood’s offerings….Yea, Nay, or a different option? What are your thoughts?”

  1. Anonymous

    I think we should incorporate sports betting into the lottery. That would not require a constitutional change, would not pick winners and losers as far as which communities are allowed to have sports betting, and it would be a far bigger win for the state budget.

    1. Anonymous

      Honestly I believe Pierre should be the sports betting hub in SD. Pierre is dead center. Deadwood already has other gambling plus it’s on the other side of the state.

      Make pierre the destination. Or Chamberlain.

  2. grudznick

    Yea. But make them trade something for it. Make Deadwood give up the crappings and roulette games in exchange, and give those games to Yankton. People are tired of Deadwood thinking they are so special.

  3. Anonymous

    By all means, let’s continue to empower the government to take advantage and make money off of the baser aspects of human desire.

    Under God the People Rule

    1. Anonymous

      Government can either take money through force of law (legal plunder) or by choice. No source of government revenue is “good,” but I prefer the later.

    2. Anonymous

      Much better to have the government be everyone’s parent and have them ban everything we don’t like, amirite? We need more government in our life.

  4. duggersd

    I remember the Deadwood-You Bet campaign. They wanted to bring some “limited” betting to bring back the flavor of the old days. I thought what the heck? It could be fun. It was not long after that I brought my kids to the Hills and visited Deadwood. As a family, we walked up and down the streets looking for something to do. There was not much for us. Then they said they could not compete with the big gambling cities because the bets were not big enough. I see nothing but more and more as time moves on with little if any benefit to the state. I vote no.

  5. Anonymous

    The two Iowa casinos – Larchwood and Hard Rock in Sioux City, have really hurt Deadwood. Also cheap tickets from SF to Vegas. So East River doesn’t have a need to come out as much. Plus gas prices are now 50 cents higher than Sioux Falls. Yes, the luster has worn off of Deadwood. Roger Brooks came there and told them that a few years ago. They don’t listen – they just keep asking for more games.

  6. Lee Schoenbeck

    Here’s how I’d bet this plays out.

    Deadwood does the initiative because they have included the provision to increase the amount that the city gets, which probably wouldn’t get through the legislature.

    But , they don’t have to worry. Because if it passes, all of the tribal casinos get sports betting too under federal law. So, who puts the money into the initiative? Tribal gaming interests. Who funds the opponents? Nobody.

    And I’ll toss in another ten dollar bet that they go to the state GOP convention, get it in the platform and then donate to the state GOP to get a GOP mailing endorsing it – like the tobacco industry did this year

    1. Anonymous

      Is it wrong for a Party to oppose things the convention delegates approve overwhelmingly, such as tax increases? Did you have a problem with them opposing Amendment W?

  7. Charlie Hoffman

    Just for fun I’ll take that bet and raise you a 12 pack of Big Wave buddy.

    Now you know who will be fighting the addition of Deadwood Sports Gambling onto the GOP Platform.

    Big Wave is stupendous BTW.

  8. JimV

    Does anyone seriously believe sports betting is not already taking place in SD via the internet? Maybe we should legalize it so Jackley & the taxman can collect another tax on the residents of SD. Past experience tells me that relying on sin taxes never turns out good.

  9. Anonymous

    We go to Deadwood more than most and I agree with PP that this would hardly register much more activity there. They want to keep doubling down (ha!) on more gambling when it has lost is allure. People do a lot more things with their kids, they have other venues, SF is growing and offering better things etc. Problem is a lot of those business owners are barely hanging on and are too scared to try something new. Many people don’t know how many fun events are happening out there because they do little paid advertising. We go there a lot for those fun events and rarely gamble much.
    This would take a huge risk but I believe a huge indoor/outdoor water park with a spa would go over very well. Keep expanding the craft beer scene, shopping and art galleries as well. They also need a cheap (subsidized) shuttle service to/from Rapid and Spearfish that runs late hours. There are opportunities if someone thinks differently but I don’t think it lies in expanding gambling.

  10. Anonymous

    Not one place in SD can compete with the beauty of Deadwood. It’s a beautiful historic town. Yankton is farm country. It has its own beauty. But nothing compared to Deadwood.

  11. a friend of education

    Those are some interesting ideas.

    My reading (of the OP) is that Pat has misgivings about the proposal’s ‘exclusive’ element. It’s a valid point; I agree that factor merits debate. I’m not 100% convinced exclusivity is needed, although I’d like to help Deadwood thrive. I think they’ll do better as a tourist destination with some gambling than as a gambling destination with some tourism. A cheap shuttle to Rapid (something like noon, 6 pm, and 11 pm) would be smart.

  12. Pingback: Deadwood Gaming Association responds and offers their opinion why they should get sports betting – South Dakota War College

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