South Dakota is taking new steps to ensure that alleged cheating at poker tables in the Deadwood casino will be a thing of the past. As part of a new set of rules called the games-protection package, the South Dakota Legislature’s rules review committee has called for English to be the only language spoken during card games played inside the casino.
The Deadwood casino caters to a wide range of multilingual players and it’s been suggested that when these players begin to speak in a language other than English, others are put at a disadvantage by not being able to understand what their opponents are talking about.
The state’s gaming commission received repeated complaints from poker players about possible collusion at the tables. “We took those allegations very seriously,” Larry Eliason, the commission’s executive secretary, told the Rapid City Journal.
According to Eliason, the English-only rule is not an attempt to establish an official language but merely to avoid conspiracy among poker players.
Sen. Jim Bradford, D-Pine Ridge, used the example of two players speaking Lakota, a language distinct to South Dakota’s Native American group that could put the rest of the table at a disadvantage.
“Same with any language; you could manipulate the game,” Bradford said.
Another new rule included in the games-protection package is the ban on using electronic devices by players to communicate with other people when they’re at the card tables. These devices include cellphones and the mere act of texting, taking and receiving calls while playing inside the casino is a no-no.
Music devices like iPods will still be allowed provided that they’re used to listen to songs, podcasts or other recordings and broadcasts.