South Dakota Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino Eyes Internet Gambling

With the rush to regulate Internet gambling becoming more rapid with each passing day in the US, some unlikely states have started the process of preparing for online gambling. The Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino in South Dakota has made it known that when lawmakers are ready to open the door to the industry, the casino will be prepared.

“I want to do this,” said Deadwood Mountain Grand General Manager Brad Hemmah. “My vision was always to have a virtual casino. I see this as being possibly a high percentage of people.”

So what brought Hemmah to the thought that Internet gambling could actually work? The GM points to some elderly Floridians, who recently have had Internet cafes shut down in their home state.

“They slowly started spending their weekly budgeted gambling money on online poker sites,” said Hemmah. “And they didn’t seem to care whether or not they were playing for money or for credits.”

Online casinos that offer play in exchange for credits have become popular over the past decade. Social platforms such as Facebook have opened the door for gaming companies to launch their products, and the public has responded.

Zynga, the largest and most successful game developer on Facebook, has moved in the past year towards real-money gambling on their platform. Zynga is preparing to open their Zynga Poker to real-money gamblers in the near future.

In South Dakota, Hemmah sees even more reason that online gambling should be an option, the weather.

“I say the gaming public is ready for it because they can still have this entertaining activity they’re used to and enjoy without worrying about icy roads and not being able to drive to Deadwood. We live where there is no population and young people are not used to waiting for anything.”

South Dakota lawmakers have had preliminary discussions about the possibility of regulating Internet gambling, but as of yet no laws have been drafted. Until they are, South Dakota gaming industry executives such as Hemmah will continue to prepare for what they believe is an ultimate reality.

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