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Rosebud Sioux Tribe Signs New South Dakota Gaming Compact

Written By J.R. Duren on November 14, 2023
South Dakota Tribe Signs New Gaming Compact

A new compact between South Dakota and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe allows the tribe to add up to 750 more slot machines to the tribe’s Rosebud Casino.

Gov. Kristi Noem recently signed the compact at a ceremony that included Scott Herman, president of the Rosebud Sioux. The signing marked the conclusion of three years of conversation between the state and the tribe

“It’s a long time coming,” Herman said at the ceremony. “We thank you for your engaging with us for the past three years in order to reach this agreement …We appreciate the opportunity to work with South Dakota to enhance our tribal-state compact so we can revitalize our casino resort.”

The compact’s slot-machine provision will help the tribe’s casino compete with other casinos in the state that have more slots, and will boost the tribe’s economic growth. The new compact is good for 10 years, Noem said.

More slots means more growth, jobs for Rosebud Sioux

The Rosebud Sioux signed a gaming compact with the state in 2009. That compact allowed the tribe to operate a casino with a maximum of 250 slot machines.

While the compact was a huge win for the Rosebud because of the revenue stream it would produce, its gaming operations were limited because of the slots cap.

Over the past 14 years, other Sioux tribes have been able to secure state approval for 1,000 slot machines, making Rosebud’s slots agreement one that hindered the tribe’s ability to produce more revenue. Slots are top revenue generators for casinos, bringing in billions at tribal and commercial casinos across the country.

Knowing that, Herman pushed for slot equity so the tribe could create more economic activity.

“The Rosebud Sioux Tribe seeks to create new jobs and we will do this through increased machine numbers,” Herman said at the compact signing. “One thousand gaming machines means equal opportunity for our people in terms of jobs.”

Noem applauded Herman’s unwavering push for more casinos during compact negotiations.

“That was one thing that was remarkable through all the discussions we’ve had the last several years,” Noem said, “is how much President Herman has kept his people at the forefront and advocated for them and the opportunity to pursue economic development in this way.”

How much money could 1,000 slots bring the Rosebud Sioux?

South Dakota’s federally recognized tribes don’t release regular casino revenue reports. So, it’s hard to provide a good estimate of how much more revenue Rosebud Casino will earn from up to 750 additional slots.

However, we can use Colorado as an example. The state’s revenue department releases reports that include the number of slot machines and the gross revenue earned from those slots.

In September, for example, the state’s 10,454 slot machines generated more than $80.7 million in revenue, or around $7,725 per machine per month. Using that data, the Rosebud Sioux could see their revenue jump from around $1.9 million a month to $7.7 million a month.

Photo by James Nord/AP photo; illustrated by PlayUSA
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J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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