Last November South Dakota voters passed Constitutional Amendment Q by a margin of 14% with even higher approval numbers coming out of the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Sioux reservations. The amendment authorizes all Class III casinos in the state to offer keno, craps, and roulette.

Businesses in Deadwood are preparing for the new games in hopes of drawing in more gamblers.

The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) as well as Class III tribal/state gaming compacts also allow Indian gaming establishments to offer the new games, keeping the playing field level. Tribal casinos offering only Class II games, which are often electronic bingo machines that play like slots, are not allowed to install or offer the table games.

Blackjack and poker are already offered at Class II Indian gaming venues. The IGRA “grandfathered” those games in certain states, including South Dakota. Section 2703(7)(C) of the act states that as long as the card game had been “actually operated” prior to May 1, 1988; and the card game had been operated by “an Indian Tribe,” it could be considered Class II.

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