Family Heritage Alliance Action opposes Senate Joint Resolution 2.
While the prospect of a new untapped revenue stream for our state is attractive, it requires a Constitutional amendment to do so. Constitutional amendments should be proposed with extreme scrutiny beforehand.
We have already authorized both destination gambling and video lottery gambling and as a result South Dakota is regrettably already dependent on the revenue from those gambling sources. Now we are considering the further expansion of gambling should this proposed amendment be approved.
With each expansion of gambling comes a human price, as more will be attracted to the lure of winning but too many of them will fall victim to their addiction. And with each expansion of gambling, the State of South Dakota will become further addicted to the revenue realized.
While SJR 2 will only place the amendment on the ballot in 2020 and the expansion will be limited to Deadwood and Native American casinos, in short order gambling on literally thousands of events will be authorized.
There is also the danger that we are at the beginning of changing the entire paradigm of sports as well.
In the early days of Major League Baseball gambling became a problem. New York Giant’s stars Hal Chase and Heinie Zimmerman were both blacklisted for bribing teammates to throw games. And most famously, the White Sox “fixed” the 1919 World Series. In both cases, sports betting was the cause.
Back then, it took a couple of hundred dollars to bribe a ballplayer. These days we would struggle to imagine what it would take to convince a ballplayer making millions of dollars a year to throw a game. However, amateur athletes or college athletes could be bought more cheaply.
Finally, the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, did not speak to the legality of sports betting. It specifically ruled that one particular federal gambling statute, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, violated the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it illegally empowered the federal government to order certain states to take specific actions to disallow sports gambling. In fact, as noted in its ruling, if Congress were to pass a statute to directly ban sports gambling; such a bill would likely survive legal scrutiny.
If this SJR 2 is approved by the voters, is the state betting that the Federal Government will not ban it?
Not everyone wins when vices go mainstream.
Please help us to defeat SJR 2, email your Senator today!