The South Dakota Catholic Conference supports House Bill 1217, a bill that would give county and municipal governments the ability to restrict or prohibit the placement of video lottery machines within the boundaries of 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 regulate video lottery, House Bill 1217 builds upon 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 1217 integrates this principle of Church teaching, and grants local communities more discretion to regulate video lottery in a way that helps promote the common good.

Categories: 2024 Session