The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports House Bill 1201, a bill that would give local governing bodies the ability to prohibit video lottery casinos within a local jurisdiction. While games of chance are not intrinsically evil or unjust, gambling becomes morally unacceptable when it goes beyond recreation and deprives people of what is necessary to provide for their needs and those under their care, or effectively enslaves them to addictive impulses. By design, video lottery is psychologically addictive, and the harm it does to individuals, families, and communities is well-documented. Moreover, by giving local governments more authority to restrict video lottery, House Bill 1201 builds on the principle of subsidiarity, which holds that higher-level authorities should not unduly interfere in the governance of a smaller community, depriving the latter of its own proper role, but instead should support it where necessary in the pursuit of the common good. House Bill 1201 integrates this principle of Church teaching, and gives local communities greater discretion over video lottery as they seek to pursue the common good.

Categories: 2021 Session