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Gaming authority of Deadwood investigates Mustang Sally Casino

South Dakota approves sports betting regulations

The South Dakota Gaming Commission (SDGC), which is Deadwood’s gaming regulatory body, is expanding its investigation into the Mustang Sally casino due to another proxy betting scandal.

Deadwood is a city in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States, and is the only location in the state where commercial casino gambling is legal. Hence, the city has numerous gambling parlours.

In October, SDGC terminated Mustang Sally’s gaming license. The owner of Mustang Sally’s, Toby Keehn, admitted to facilitating unlawful proxy bets on behalf of himself, other workers, and the state gaming authority.

A worker at Mustang Sally’s, Jennifer Haefs, admitted to the board that she frequently made sports wagers on behalf of other people when she was on duty. However, the SDGC thinks that the unlawful betting continued at Mustang Sally’s, as there have been new claims that another former employee of Mustang Sally, Mathew Steinlicht, placed sports wagers on behalf of minors.

“While working at Mustang Sally’s during the month of August 2022, Mathew Steinlicht placed multiple proxy bets for multiple underage individuals,” the SDGC wrote in its complaint.

Placing a bet on another person’s behalf is known as “proxy betting.” While permitted in other countries, proxy betting is not permitted in Deadwood. The state’s proxy betting statute is a Class 6 felony, which carries a maximum two-year prison sentence and a $4,000 fine. There are nine categories of felonies in South Dakota. Life sentences may be imposed for offenses in Classes A, B, and C. Classes 1 through 6 make up the remaining six felonies, with Class 6 being the least serious.

Keehn escaped jail time. But in addition to losing his gambling license, he also had to pay a $25,000 fine.

According to Deadwood gambling regulators, the proxy betting element of Steinlicht’s purported illegal sports wagering assistance is the most serious regulatory breach. But he is also breaking the law by encouraging minors to gamble.

SDGC, it is a Class I felony for a licensee to allow an individual below the age of 21 to wager in a state-licensed casino. A casino runs the danger of losing its gaming licence if it permits entry by minors. However, given that Mustang Sally’s licence has already been revoked, the state is expected to take Steinlicht’s personal conduct into account. The potential punishment for a Class 1 felony charge is up to one year in jail and a $2,000 fine. Along with that, he faces a Class 6 felony charge for proxy wagering.

Following the loss of its gaming rights, Mustang Sally’s is no longer a legally recognised casino in Deadwood. Despite Keehn’s entreaties for mercy and the casino owner’s assurance that it would not violate the state’s laws again, the gaming regulator cancelled the licence to operate the business. Since then, Mustang Sally’s has transformed into a sports bar serving basic cuisine and beverages including burgers, wings, beers, and other kind of drinks.

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