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South Dakota VLT Operators Win In State Supreme Court

Posted On: 10/14/2011

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video lottery terminals, VLT businesses, South Dakota Supreme Court, video poker, amusement business

PIERRE, SD -- Operators of video lottery terminals are not subject to local cities that wish to use zoning ordinances to regulate where VLT businesses can operate, according to a Sept. 22 ruling from the South Dakota Supreme Court.

The case arose after Sioux Falls casino owner Rick Law was told he could not open a VLT business because of a 2008 zoning ordinance that prohibited the installation of new machines within 2,000 feet of schools, parks or existing VLTs.

But, the Supreme Court declared that the state Department of Revenue and Regulation possesses sole authority to regulate placement of new VLTs.

Under the ruling, South Dakota operators may now enjoy a much broader market to place new VLTs, although the devices are still restricted to liquor-licensed locations.

The high court's decision brings a much-needed win to the state's VLT operators, who reported this summer that revenues have dropped anywhere from 17% to 35%, chiefly because of the new statewide smoking ban. | SEE STORY