South Dakota Debating Gambling Pros and Cons


Published 04/10 2014 10:04PM

Updated 04/10 2014 10:56PM

The commission for the State of South   Dakota's Lottery is moving ahead with a study to see what the social effects of gambling are in the state.

It might seem odd, but they hope to use the study to their benefit with future legislation.

Opponents of gambling say the laws in the state are bad for south dakotans, but the lottery says the money they put aside for problem gambling isn't being used.

Local casino owners agree.

"If the money isn't being utilized that they put aside for problem gaming, I just can't imagine that the problem is that big," sad Sherry LaFleur, owner of Beano and Sherry

If the study goes well, the lottery could push for more video gambling in the state. But if it goes poorly, it could be used against them. that's something people at the casino's hope doesn't happen.

"Anything we can do to keep the revenues coming into the state is a positive thing for us and a positive thing for all of the residents of South Dakota,” said Mary Pease of Elk Point.

Though many admit a study may show some negative effects of gambling,others think it's just entertainment and that gambling addicts would go somewhere else if laws restricted their habit.

"They're in control of their own lives nobody is making them go to that casino. I think it can be an addiction, yes, but it can be an outlet. It can be a lot of things to different people,” said Robert Motz who spends plenty of time in South Dakota.

The other downside to the study is cost. The lottery commission must now find a way to pay for the $500,000 study, and many think like other studies done in the past, it might not even be used.

"I think it's just another wasted study. You spend all this money on a study and nobody pays attention to the studies usually,” La Fleur added.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.