In a recent post, I raised the issue of the Deadwood Gaming Association asking for sports betting, yet another bump in what they can offer the public, and asked what people thought – whether it should get a yea, a nay, or if there was another way.
Last night, I received a response to my question from Mike Rodman, Executive Director of the Deadwood Gaming Association offering his opinion as to why Deadwood should be the one to reap the benefits of legalized sports betting:
I would like to respond to your post today on the news that the Deadwood Gaming Association has submitted a proposal for wagering on sporting events to the Attorney General’s office.
I would suggest that rather than the gloss coming off Deadwood as a travel destination, the world and people’s expectations have changed over the last 29 years when Deadwood became the third jurisdiction in the country to have gaming.
Like any other business, Deadwood must evolve and meet the expectations of its customers by providing the products and services that they are looking for and that other destinations are providing. I don’t believe that anyone in South Dakota would expect that Deadwood should not have the ability to make the necessary business decisions that allows them to compete on a regional or even national scale by meeting customer preferences. The changes that Deadwood has made over these last 29 years are the same as any other industry’s necessity to remain relevant.
Since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports wagering in May, several states have moved forward with sport wagering. Deadwood believes that with the proliferation of wagering on sporting events across the country, it will force any legitimate, competing gaming market to adopt this game type to stay competitive. We are asking the voters of the state to allow an additional game type to an already established and regulated gaming jurisdiction here in South Dakota. Deadwood looks at this as a product development effort to help maintain Deadwood’s relevance as a gaming destination.
I am including the Deadwood gaming tax breakdown for fiscal 2018, which shows where Deadwood’s gaming tax currently goes. Deadwood gaming tax revenue has for many years covered the regulatory expense of the horse racing industry in South Dakota. In Las Vegas, sports wagering is approximately one and a half percent of gaming revenues. Given Deadwood generates a $100 million dollars annually, we anticipate around $1-$1.5 million in sports wagering revenues.
Wagering on sporting events is already happening in South Dakota, just illegally. We believe many South Dakotans want the opportunity to wager on their favorite sporting events, but they want to do it in a safe, regulated and legal environment. Deadwood wants to give them that opportunity.
And you can also see the chart that Mike provided:
Thoughts? Do you think the Deadwood Gaming Association makes their case?