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Deadwood casino regulator set to utilize self-exclusion program

Deadwood’s licensed gaming venues will soon be required to show the South Dakota Commission on Gaming their plans to curb illegal activity in their facilities and how to prevent compulsive people from placing bets. The town, which is famous for its picturesque gaming parlors on Main Street, under the Black Hills mountain range, has its casinos regulated by the commission.

According to reports, Senator Jean Hunhoff had some questions directed at Doug Abraham, the South Dakota commission’s attorney, concerning the newly implemented regulation that mandated a gaming venue to produce their plans for people with betting problems who have formally requested that they be excluded from the activity. “Why is this rule in there? Has something happened? What led to that?” the Yankton Republican Hunhoff asked.

Abraham responded, “A lot of other areas have similar situations. I’m not aware of an area in Deadwood that had this.” Mark Heltzel, the deputy executive secretary of the commission, was also called into the conversation and revealed that it was a national practice. He said, “We just followed suit and tried to offer that to our customers. We never had a specific incident where we felt we needed to raise that concern.”

South Dakota does not have a statewide self-exclusion program

While Deadwood has a legal, commercial market for gambling, they are yet to have a government-instituted self-exclusion program. South Dakota is among the five states out of 33 to practice commercial gambling legally without a statewide self-exclusion program. Others include Oklahoma, Nevada, Arkansas, and Colorado.

In the other states with a state-governed self-exclusion program, the list of people who request a gambling ban on themselves for a particular period is closely watched by a state agency and updated when necessary.

The self-exclusion Rolodexes is different from casino blacklists, where the customer is banned involuntarily due to their actions. The information of individuals who ask for the ban is usually circulated among the state and casino operators in private without being made public.

Unlike in other states, South Dakota gaming regulators are not aiming to carry out a self-exclusion program that would affect the entire state. Commercial gambling is currently permitted in Deadwood alone, and because of this, South Dakota only wants the casinos in the town to turn in the names of the banned individuals regularly. The list will be administered by the Gaming Commission before being distributed to all the casinos in Deadwood.

Deadwood failure to regulate sports betting

After South Dakotans’ move in 2020 for a ballot referendum to give sportsbooks free rein in Deadwood, the town’s casinos started including sports betting in their venues on Main Street. The activity has caused several regulatory infractions, most of which were oddsmakers’ taking on prohibited bets.

The sports betting law in South Dakota exempts college games involving the state colleges or even hosted in the state. Collecting bets on college sports in schools like South Dakota State University is a prime example of these prohibited bets.

The Gaming Commission’s aim in implementing the self-exclusion program is to give problem gamblers an out from the industry. According to the state, every Deadwood casino was mandated to make sure people on the gambling ban list were not allowed to use slot machines, take part in table games, or be given access to sportsbooks.

The new “patron protection” regulations provide an overview of the criteria that each casino is required to follow. These demands include the mechanisms that enable customers to detect unauthorized use of their accounts.

The regulations also require casinos to immediately alert the commission about anyone who has been caught or is suspected of using a false identity in an attempt to access a patron account. Additionally, the regulations require casinos to quickly inform the commission about any illegal proceedings that have been initiated against them in relation to sports betting operations.

While Deadwood looks like it is trapped in the past, the same cannot be said for the gambling sector. By having the state official give a mandate instructing the town’s gambling venues to work on and present gambling safeguards to help more players ensure that the industry’s move to the present is foreseeable.

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