Sioux Falls City Council limits Video Lottery when it suits them

Like the recent property tax hike and ignoring the zoning amendments when it comes to Wholestone Foods, it seems the city council only does the right thing when it suits them;

Tuesday’s council meeting finally saw a vote on a series of video lottery terminal requests and malt beverage license approvals applied for by Commonwealth Gaming and Holdings that, taken together, would comprise four establishments holding 10 video lottery terminals each, all within one building near East 69th Street and South Cliff Avenue.

“It just completely violates the spirit and the intent and the letter of state law, which is that it’s supposed to be separate businesses with 10 machines,” said Neitzert in an interview.

So why did you vote for this reach around of state law in the past? The city council has had the ability to limit Telephone Booth VL casinos for years, and NOW they are realizing they can do these limitations?!

Part of the issue is a 2019 ordinance passed by council which allowed separate casinos operating under one roof to share cooler space and employee access points.

It was a compromise that followed several denials of licenses that CGH had applied for, as city ordinance says alcoholic beverages cannot move from one establishment to another, and that walls must separate businesses that hold licenses to sell alcohol.

Neitzert, who voted in favor of the ordinance, said CGH had always said they were looking to operate two establishments under one roof, not three, four or five.

I figured when they passed that ordinance that casinos would find a way to expand it even more. While I wasn’t a 100% sure this would happen, I initially opposed the change because the city council should be doing everything in their legal power and authority to limit VL casinos and not just automatically approve new venues when they come before the council. While they like to cry about a couple of Med MJ dispensaries they seem to have no issue with a junky VL casino on every corner in this city. Video Lottery has destroyed more lives in this state than MJ could ever do and the tax revenue just gets wasted in the general fund. Besides contributing to more crime, addiction and bankruptcy, a job at a casino isn’t exactly a career move unless you own the place.

When the latter two video lottery terminal requests came to a vote, they failed in a 5-3 vote, with Councilors Curt Soehl, Marshall Selberg and Alex Jensen voting in their favor.

And you gotta wonder what these three clowns were thinking? Further proof our city council is NOT truly citizen representatives.


#1 D@ily Spin on 09.23.22 at 4:46 pm

There are to many VL’s. It’s a passing fad. Build it, they won’t come. What’s become obvious is the Council doesn’t have the public in mind. For they, it’s whomever contributes to their campaign, gives them a disguised favor, or outright pads their pocket. Then also, there’s the Strong Mayor concept. The mayor can make anything happen aside from council vote. It seems apparent that city government is stagnant. They’re busy paying off debt and fixing Huether mistakes. It’s time to defund them and start over.

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 09.23.22 at 9:48 pm

The S.D Lottery is not going anywhere anytime soon, in fact, it has progressively expanded itself, and the City of Sioux Falls opened up a can of worms a few years ago. No where in State law does it allow the City to restrict it, and if the S.D Lottery wants to give more Bars, Drinking Establisments more machines, it will find a way to do so. The entire Lottery is a “Revenue-Scheme” to generate tons of revenue for the State of South Dakota with the ‘net income’ or proceeds providing for CAPITAL PROJECTS statewide such as Highways, Bridges, Water Projects, Education, and more. It is a $4.5 Billion dollar a year business, of which S.D LOTTERY OWNS the system, while the private residents/bar owners own the land, facilities, and the machines, while nearly $49,000,000 in prize money/cash is rewarded to all ‘winners’ across the state. Sioux Falls will one day have to be open to Large Entertainment Venues of which hold the S.D Lottery along with a bar, lounge, restaurant, an event-dance-concert hall, all of which would be able to hold 50 Lottery Machines, and there is NOTING the City can do to restrict it, other than enter into a “Operation Agreement” to establish a floor plan, building layout, and to determine how to place the machines. If you do not believe me, please research yourself, there are TWO “Attorney General Legal Opinions, 1991-04 and the the other is 1989-37 that agree with me. Also read state laws, not only SDCL 42-7A but also 35-4-19 to 35-4-23 and also SDCL 9-29-5 which ends with the provsion – “The provisions of this section do not apply to any lottery owned and operated by this state.”

The S.D Lottery is in direct competition with Jackpot Junction in Redwood Falls-MN, Grand Falls Casino-Larchwood-IA, and the Hardrock Inn and Casino in Sioux City-IA.

Sioux Falls may as well allow for these ‘establishments’ to be 1000 feet from each other, under the same “sensitive land uses” as Medical Marijuana.

#3 Fear & Loathing in Sioux Falls on 09.24.22 at 12:31 pm

Mary Jane and gambling, I sense a problem here. What if your low coinage makes you laugh? Will you continue to plug it, or just puff it?

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