State Lottery Commission considers changes to video lottery - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota Lottery Commission considers changes to video lottery rules

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Some state leaders hope more people playing the lottery could help the state's budget, not to mention its taxpayers.

The state is considering allowing businesses to run up to 30 machines, that's up considerably from the current ten.

KSFY News asked casino operators what this change could mean for the lottery business.

The South Dakota Lottery Commission wants to take a gamble by allowing local casinos to add more machines like these to make more money but for every dollar played, the state takes 50 cents.

Some casino operators like Terri Charging tell me the state holds all the cards, while the casinos take all of the risk.

"We would have to buy the machines and where we're at now, even if they offer us to buy two more machines, we couldn't afford to buy them anyway," Charging said.

"Every year that there's a licensing fee on  the machines that we have to pay every year so even if we did get two more machines it would cost us more because we would be paying licensing fees on those," Charging added.

The state lottery commission is considering new rules for casinos, allowing local casinos to grow from ten to 30 video lottery machines, and use a progressive jackpot.

South Dakota Lottery Commission Executive Director Norm Lingle said "as those jackpots grow, you get more players participating in those games. I think if you have a bigger prize, you will generate more interests."

And the state also is considering phasing out some of these old time favorite video lottery machines, but Terri said that would cause her casino's luck to run out.

"We would have to close because there's no way we could afford to buy all new machines, no way, we just don't have the money, and the machines are expensive. It would ruin us," Charging said.

The state lottery commission may change the rules of the game but not everyone wants to take that chance.

Lingle tells us the commission needs to do more research but it would like to enact these changes within the next five years.

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