In the State of South Dakota, when it comes to all forms of gambling other than bookmaking, it would appear that unlawful gambling is a Class Two Misdemeanor for both players and operators alike:
22-25-1. Gambling defined--Keeping gambling establishment--Letting building for gambling--Misdemeanor. Any person who engages in gambling in any form with cards, dice, or other implements or devices of any kind wherein anything valuable is wagered upon the outcome, or who keeps any establishment, place, equipment, or apparatus for such gambling or any agents or employees for such purpose, or any person who knowingly lets any establishment, structure, place, equipment, or apparatus for such gambling is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.
In South Dakota, the maximum penalty for a Class II Misdemeanor is a fine of up to $500, up to thirty days in jail, or both.
South Dakota is also an interesting state with respect to the recovery of losses in unlawful gambling in which an individual may sue for the recovery of such monies within six months. That failing, individuals who are closely related to the individual may bring action within six years after the six months expires. If there are no such individuals, then the state attorney may bring an action against the winner for recovery of the sum lost that shall then go to public schools.
There are also specific statutes that pertain to the operation of Internet gambling, however, such statutes focus on operators and the penalties are either a Class 6 felony (first offense) or a Class 5 felony for a second or subsequent offense. It can also be illegal to play online, but that is only the case if an individual is engaged in a gambling business while playing online.
If an individual is not engaged in the business of gambling, then there do not appear to be any penalties for the mere act of gambling online with exception to the Misdemeanor that applies to all forms of unlawful gambling within the state.
There is not much information available for gambling related arrests of any kind completely within the borders of South Dakota in recent years, and certainly no incidences of someone being arrested for being a mere player online.
In conclusion, special penalties for illegal gambling operators on the Internet are pretty strict given that they may constitute different classes of felonies. Furthermore, despite the fact that unlawful gambling can result in a misdemeanor in the state, there do not seem to be many arrests at all within the state on the grounds of unlawful gambling. However, we cannot completely ignore that unlawful gambling can theoretically be a misdemeanor and could theoretically apply to online gambling. We will consider the restrictiveness on online gambling to be light.
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