South Dakotans to Vote on Tables

A ballot measure in South Dakota will decide whether the state’s casinos can add live roulette, keno and craps to VLTs, blackjack and poker in Deadwood (l.).

Voters in South Dakota will decide in a ballot measure next week whether the state’s casinos will be permitted to add live roulette, keno and craps.

Current games include VLTs in bars and slots, blackjack and poker in Deadwood casinos. Constitutional Amendment Q would allow the full complement of live table games not only in Deadwood, but in tribal casinos across the state.

Casino owners and Deadwood officials say the new games are needed to compete with full gaming in casinos in nearby states. “We want to make sure that the gaming component ins competitive, said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, in an interview with KeloLand TV. “Deadwood needs to be able to compete with other jurisdictions around the country and particularly states around South Dakota that have these games.”

The Family Heritage Alliance, meanwhile, released a pamphlet opposing the referendum, “Whereas in most cases, the free market should be the primary regulator of business, an industry that generates so much addiction, societal ills, crime, and even suicide…should be subject to legal restraints.”

In the interview, Rodman responded that it’s all about jobs. “Deadwood gave me the opportunity to earn a living and raise my family here in South Dakota and we just want to make sure Deadwood is able to do that for the next generation,” he said.

Should the amendment pass, the state legislature would have the final word on legalizing the games and setting the regulations.