Last Updated on 12/09/2022
Fact checked by: Josh Schwartz
Online gambling and sports betting are popular in South Dakota. But it’s still worth asking, is online gambling legal in South Dakota? Well, the laws are convoluted, and you need a good grasp of them before getting started.
In this guide, we look at the laws surrounding sports betting and online gambling in South Dakota and do our best to simplify them for you. We also cover other options that may be available to residents of the state, and the future of online gambling for residents of South Dakota.
The legal gambling landscape in South Dakota is lengthy and somewhat complicated. The state has a number of land-based tribal casinos that offer various games such as slots, live poker, blackjack, and casino-style poker games.
Horse and dog racing betting, Daily Fantasy Sports, charitable gaming, social gambling, and state lottery are all legal. However, online gambling is illegal within the state's jurisdiction, and no rules are regulating it. On the other hand, sports betting was recently legalized in South Dakota, but there aren't rules to control or govern it. Even then, this law is somewhat restrictive, considering mobile sports betting isn't allowed, and people have to place bets only inside a casino.
Before we summarize the legal status of sports and casino gambling in South Dakota, it's worth looking at the evolution of the gambling laws. The history of gambling dates back to 1933 when the state legalized pari-mutuel horse and greyhound wagers. In 1986, South Dakota introduced a state lottery that's quite popular to date.
It wasn't until 1989 that the state legalized casino gambling but limited all gambling activities to Deadwood. And in 1993, the first state's tribal gaming compacts were signed, making tribal casinos the hallmark of casino gambling in South Dakota.
Several states have varying laws as far as online gambling and sports betting are concerned. In almost all cases, states that have legalized online gambling have also legalized sports betting. However, vice versa isn't always true.
That said, it's worth noting that sports betting and online gambling South Dakota aren't as mature as in several other states throughout the United States. You can also refer to our site to check how many states have legal gambling in the broader United States.
As we had earlier stated, sports betting in South Dakota is a rather new development, and there aren't as sophisticated regulations as you would expect. On March 18, 2021, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed the Senate Bill (SB) 44 into law. This finalized the journey that began long before voters approved legal wagering in November 2020.
Interestingly, this law isn't flexible or as friendly as the other sports betting laws passed in other states. Instead, SB 44 requires bettors to register in person in a licensed Deadwood casino before placing any bet. Upon registration, bettors must place their bets using sportsbook apps offered inside the casino.
In other words, the sportsbook wagering apps only work inside the Deadwood casinos, and sports enthusiasts must drive all the way to the city, which is, by definition, a bit restrictive. Similarly, the state doesn't accept bets on minor league sports, high school sports, and colleges in SD.
But even with sports betting being legal in South Dakota and the official launch delayed until September 1, 2021, it's pretty evident that the state shouldn't expect much revenue from the bill. One reason is that Iowa is closest to a larger population of potential bettors and gamblers than is Deadwood. The latter is a six-hour drive from Sioux Falls, South Dakota's largest city.
And considering that Iowa doesn't require in-person registration, it's easy to see why Iowa's proximity to the state's most populous city will continue to be a major tax drain for South Dakota's sports betting potential.
Below is a comparison table of our recommended sportsbooks in South Dakota.
If sports betting in South Dakota is restrictive, you may ask, what about casino gambling? Well, it depends. If you are a die-hard casino fanatic who has the time to commute several hours to a Deadwood casino and wait for your turn to play some old-school slots and blackjack games, then more power to you.
However, if you'd rather play your favorite slot games or roulette from the comfort of your home, then South Dakota doesn't have that option for you. The best thing you can do is sign up with a reputed offshore site that accepts residents of South Dakota.
As far as casino gaming is concerned, the state has 43 land-based casinos, of which 26 are located in Deadwood city. Before 2013, all the local casinos were required by law to enforce a maximum bet limit of $100. However, this was later amended to allow players to gamble to a maximum of $1,000.
And as you would have guessed, local businesses are prohibited from operating any online gambling site. Most states neighboring South Dakota, such as Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, and Minnesota, are largely conservative on gambling issues. This is particularly true when you compare them with states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. That said, you can refer to our site where we answer this common question – "Can you gamble online in CT?"
Moving forward, it's not clear whether South Dakota could legalize online gambling or even reach the status of other states such as Delaware, which legalized online gambling in 2012. Delaware is one of the pioneers of legal online gambling. Be sure to check out our guide to some of the best Delaware online gambling sites, as it's one of the few other US states with proper regulations in place.
Refer to our comparison table below for our recommended online casino operators in South Dakota.
Online poker games are, by default, illegal within South Dakota, but players can play with offshore operators. However, live poker rooms are legal and regulated within the state. If you prefer land-based poker games in a real casino, then there are some options for you. But choosing a reputed live poker casino is the only option for those who would rather play video poker online.
That said, there aren't as many states that have legalized or regulated online poker. Delaware, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and West Virginia are the only states where this kind of gambling is legal. Michigan launched online poker in January 2021, while West Virginia legalized it in 2019 but does not have any sites running.
Since online gambling South Dakota isn't yet mature, it's hard to predict when or whether the state will one day legalize online poker. One thing for sure is that you cannot be prosecuted for gambling with an offshore online poker site. However, you must proceed with extreme caution when considering using offshore operators.
If you are a Daily Fantasy Sports betting fan, then you are probably aware of the legality of your favorite betting niche in The Mount Rushmore State. If you aren't aware of the laws, then it's worth noting that South Dakota doesn't regulate daily fantasy sports. However, it allows the industry to operate in more of a gray area.
The state's attorney general, for instance, stated in 2015 that he wouldn't pursue any criminal actions regarding DFS operators. This may sound a bit worrying, but the truth is, there isn't anything to worry about if you use a highly reputed site that's regulated in other states.
Since the state doesn't regulate anything to do with Daily Fantasy Sports, there aren't any restrictions so far. Popular leagues include NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, and college sports.
By definition, social gambling refers to a gambling event where players can play either for money or for free in a purely social context. Here, no participant, host, or other body acts like a bookie or earns money to coordinate the event.
There are now laws governing social gambling in several US states, which is often a gray area legally. Online gambling in South Dakota encompasses all the gambling activities, and the law makes no exemption for social gambling. In other words, social gambling is seen as implicitly illegal, yet residents play it freely without the fear of prosecution.
Besides sports betting, DFS betting, and online gambling South Dakota, you can choose other gambling and betting options. Most of these events are legal, even if they aren't regulated. Some perfect examples include horse racing and greyhound racing. South Dakota has a well-rooted culture that supports racing events; two popular events include the Stanley County Fairgrounds and the Brown County Fairgrounds.
If you want to bet on horse and greyhound racing in South Dakota, Time Out Lounge in Rapid City and Triple Crown Casino in Sioux City are your best options. Charitable gambling is also allowed in South Dakota, and popular games include poker and casino nights.
Another common gambling event that's mainstream in South Dakota is the state lottery. Established in 1987, the state offers in-state, multi-state, and scratch-off games as part of its lottery. This niche also features more than 9,000 video lottery terminals (VLTs) that offer blackjack, electronic bingo, keno, and poker. The maximum bet is $2, and the prize goes up to $1,000. That said, other options like Esports aren't yet legalized in South Dakota.
During our search for the best sportsbooks in South Dakota, we considered a lot of factors, including the operator's reputation, quality of customer services, site design, and ease of use, as well as the variety of betting markets. And since online gambling is illegal in South Dakota, we recommend this operator for when sports betting becomes legal in the state.
BetMGM has partnered with Liv Hospitability's prime resorts locations in Deadwood to offer sports betting in South Dakota. BetMGM's mobile app is pending regulatory approval but will soon operate entirely within the state.
Some of the benefits of betting with BetMGM include:
All in all, BetMGM offers a well-rounded experience for sports bettors in South Dakota, online gambling Arizona or in any other US state when it eventually becomes legal.
Being a conservative state, South Dakota is implicitly opposed to most of the gambling activities that slip under the state's radar. Not only is online gambling South Dakota considered illegal, but other gambling and betting activities like online poker, mobile betting, and online sports betting are also all played via offshore betting sites.
As of now, sports betting will officially launch on September 1, 2021, while online gambling remains in the dark. With an optimistic view of the future, it's most likely that laws on sports betting will expand. At least to the extent that will allow people to bet online and from the comfort of their homes. A key motivation to this move will come from other states like Iowa and Arizona that legalized both sports betting and mobile betting. We have also covered more about
As we have revealed, the rules of the land are rigid and restrictive on both online sports and casino gambling in South Dakota, and it’s a matter of waiting to see what happens in the future. In the meantime, sports fans can look forward to sports betting becoming legal in that state in September, 2021, and although this type of activity is not legal, online social casinos are freely enjoyed by residents.
If you’re also interested in what’s currently happening in other states, you can check out Colorado gambling sites or the online gambling situation for any US state, right here at Captain Gambling.
South Dakota online gambling laws are complex. The state has several land-based casinos that offer a variety of games. And while the state allows some forms of gambling, there are several restrictions that every player should know. Refer to our guide to learn more about these laws.
As with most states in the US, the laws regarding various types of gambling, including online gambling and sports betting, can vary. A lot. And, just because one form of gambling is legal doesn’t mean others will be. Hence, you need to do your research to truly understand what’s allowed and what’s not where you live. Luckily we’ve done the hard work for you. Our guides simplify all of these tricky details so you can be sure of what’s allowed and what’s not.
South Dakota is a more conservative state as far as gambling is concerned, as are many across the US. The whole legal gambling landscape in this state is complicated. Our review will help you learn more about the legality of online gambling in this state so you don’t find yourself on the wrong side of the law.
To err on the safe side, only regulated online operators in any state should be considered as options for online gambling. To be sure of whether it’s legal to use online gambling sites in your state, consult our state-specific online gambling guides to get the lay of the land where you live, so you can be sure you’re safe and protected.
Just because online gambling is common in a state doesn't mean it's legal. The state won’t protect you if an offshore operator disappears with your stake or winnings. Understanding the legality of online gambling South Dakota will help you proceed with confidence. Refer to our guide to learn more about the state's online gambling laws.