South Dakota Gambling Picks Up In July

Written By Katarina Vojvodic on August 24, 2023
players sit at slot machines inside a deadwood south dakota casino

According to data from the South Dakota Commission on Gaming (SDCG), South Dakota casinos saw an annual improvement in gaming revenue. The commission regulates limited betting activities in Deadwood, as well as live horse and simulcast racing.

Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, said:

 “July’s revenues bounced back nicely, beating all previous July records. We are now up 4.22% YTD overall over last year.”

Online casinos are illegal in the state, while legal sports betting is restricted to Deadwood casinos. The Rocksino by Hard Rock Deadwood was the latest to open its doors in Deadwood, becoming one of its kind in the Hard Rock International portfolio.

The other sportsbook sites in the state are tribal casinos.

South Dakota slot machines, table games, sports betting July numbers breakdown

According to the South Dakota Commission’s latest report, all three gaming sectors in the state experienced growth.

South Dakota July gaming activity figures

  • Slot machines: $136.38 million (with people betting $107.23 million on one-cent slot machines)
  • Table games: $8.50 million (with blackjack generating over $3.79 million)
  • Sports betting: $413,368
  • Total handle: $145.29 million

The amount of money gambled (handle) in July was an 11.99% improvement compared to July last year:

  • Slot machine handle increased by 12.58% compared to July 2022
  • The table game handle rose by 1.9% from the same time last year
  • Sports betting handle was up 59.49% compared to July 2022

Deadwood gaming operators rewarded players with $1.4 million in “free-play” for the month of July, also known as “non-cashable promo play.”

After the deductions, the state collected $13.49 million in taxable adjusted gross revenue (AGR) throughout the month.

South Dakota’s July numbers better than June’s

According to statistics, South Dakota casinos showed a monthly increase in July in slots machine and table game sectors, while sports betting slightly dropped:

  • Slot machines: July’s $136.38 million is a 9.19% increase from June’s $124.90 million
  • Table games: July’s $8.50 million is 16.12% up from June’s $7.32 million
  • Sports betting: $413,368 in July is a 0.87% drop from $417,025 in June

The total handle in July is also a 9.54% increase from the $132.64 million generated in June. Likewise, July’s $13.49 million in revenue is an improvement (14.97%) from June’s $11.73 million.

As Black Hills FOX reported, Rodman commented: “Obviously summers are a busy time here, and it’s an important time for Deadwood, and so to have these types of numbers are very important overall.”

June 2023’s overall gaming revenue showed a slight growth (0.98%) compared to June 2022. The June 2022 handle was also down 1.61% compared to June 2021.

Photo by AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Katarina Vojvodic

Katarina Vojvodic is a lead writer for PlayUSA who lives in Toronto. Vojvodic provides coverage of the US gambling industry with a focus on US online casinos. Previously, she covered Ontario’s online gambling industry for Vojvodic holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Belgrade. Outside working hours, she can be found near the water with her husband and their two kids.

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