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In South Dakota, it is not necessarily that they want expanded gambling in their state, but they definitely do not want to get beat to the punch by Iowa. So they have decided the best defense to a casino near the states border is a good offense.
On Monday, the state Senate in South Dakota voted 20-15 in favor of a new amendment that would give the governor of the state legislature the power to defend their borders with any means necessary. That might include the power to expand gambling in their own state.
“In the end, this (amendment) will have the effect of locating one mega-casino in Sioux Falls,” said Senator Dave Knudson. He was alluding to the fact that in the amendment there is no clarification for what type of gambling could be created.
Still, others in the Senate believe this is not a pro-gambling amendment, but rather one that will protect South Dakota and their interests. “We’re trying to discourage Iowa from building this. Nobody is trying to increase gambling,” said Senator Gene Abdallah.
The amendment is aimed at keeping Iowa from building a casino resort that would bring people from South Dakota. Developers have been slow to act on casino opportunitie4s in areas of the country where there is significant competition.
Lawmakers in South Dakota feel that if they begin a plan to bring a casino to Sioux Falls, then developers would back away from building a casino in Iowa.
The precedent was set last year when Penn National originally agreed to build and operate a casino in Kansas. After learning of potential competition from a tribal casino in Oklahoma, Penn National pulled the plug on the deal. South Dakota is hoping they will have a similar result from Iowa developers.