With gambling laws being affected locally and federally it is hard to know any states position on online gambling. Back in 2011 congress decided the Wire Act was to pertain to sports betting only, thus allowing local state governments the right to amend their gambling laws. Fast forward to March 2014 H.R. 4301 was presented to a congressional committee to reinstate the original Wire Act thus banning all online gaming. How does this affect residents of South Dakota?
South Dakota statutes regarding online gambling are exceedingly precise, symbolic of its eagerness to safeguard its casino industry. South Dakota statutes define gambling as anyone who partakes in any form of gambling, be it with cards, dice, or device in respect to wagering money on the outcome of an event, or any person who operates an establishment for gambling. Anyone caught doing so is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
The statutes that deal primarily with Internet gambling are exceedingly clear and rigidly defines its terms in regards to any gambling business, internet gambling, bets and wagers. It defines a bet as anyone receiving money with the understanding that the money is being paid upon the outcome of a race, contest, or game. It also clearly states that anyone participating in an Online gambling business may be charged with a Class 6 felony, while repeat offenders face a Class 5 felony charge. The prosecutor or state’s Attorney General may choose to prosecute any individual admitting guilt to the charges. The statute clearly states anyone charged with a wager violation will be charged a separate violation for each bet that was placed. So if an individual placed six bets and was caught placing these bets, they can face a Class 6 felony charge plus six additional felony charges for each bet that was placed. The attorney general will notify the site that it is operating illegally in the state of South Dakota and will put forth all the violation and subsequent penalties they are facing if they do not remove their site.
South Dakota is hesitant to pass any online gambling legislation because of the lack of revenue it will garner for the state. The town of Deadwood had become a gambling mecca for the state providing it with much needed revenue. Internet gambling cannot be regulated so most states are hesitant from allowing this under gambling rules. The revenue generated goes to the site and sometimes the revenue is distributed in the country who granted licenses.