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Mixed Results For South Dakota Gambling In September, Down 4.6%

Written By Katarina Vojvodic | Updated:
Motorcyclists And Gamblers On South Dakota's Deadwood Main Street with Deadwood gambling September 2023

Deadwood’s gaming numbers show a yearly decrease in September, according to the report by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming (SDGC).

The SDCG’s latest report shows players gambled $140 million in Deadwood last month, almost 5% down from the same month last year. About 90% of that money (roughly $127 million) went back to players through winnings, leaving casinos with nearly $13 million.

For the calendar year finishing with September, about $1.2 billion was gambled across Deadwood casinos. The yearly figure represents a 2.63% increase compared to the same time last year.

Legal sports betting in South Dakota is limited to Deadwood casinos. There are also sportsbook sites in the state’s tribal casinos.

South Dakota sports betting in September up 37.7% yearly and 89% monthly

In September, revenue totals for South Dakota casinos in Deadwood were down 4.64% year-over-year.

Most of the gambling activities happen at slot machines. While revenue from slot machines decreased from September last year, the numbers increased for table tables and sports betting.

To be more specific, September 2023 gaming activity was as follows:

  • Slot machines: $131.51 million (16.88% down from August)
  • Table games (blackjack, roulette, poker and craps): $7.63 million (15.3% monthly down)
  • Sports betting: $979,694 (89.11% monthly rise)
  • Total Handle: $140.12 million 

Here’s how September 2023 revenue numbers compare to September of last year:

  • Slot machine handle decreased by 5.18% (from $138.69 million generated this time last year)
  • Table game handle increased by 1.40% (compared to September 2022’s $7.52 million)
  • Sports betting handle was 37.68% up (from $711,576.76 generated in September last year)
  • Total Handle: 4.64% drop from $146.93 million

After rewarding players with $1,542,759 in “free-play” during September, Deadwood gaming operators were left with taxable adjusted gross revenues of $12.93 million for the month.

South Dakota players mostly bet on the NFL

It doesn’t surprise that statistical data from the commission shows the NFL saw the largest number of bets placed on games.

According to the September report by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, here’s a monthly summary of sports betting in the state:

  1. NFL bets placed on games: $425,937.96
  2. NCAA Football: $324,804.06
  3. Major League Baseball (MLB): $155,641.77
  4. Tennis: $39,501.50
  5. MMA/UFC: $15,284.55
  6. Soccer: $5,059.68
  7. WNBA: $3,834.00
  8. NCAA Men’s BB: $2,947.50
  9. NASCAR: $2,300.85
  10. PGA: $1,551.00
  11. NBA: $1,317.57
  12. Boxing: $830.00
  13. NHL: $568.23
  14. Formula 1: $115.00
  15. NCAA Basketball: 0

There are still no online sports betting site offerings in South Dakota, so all bets were placed at licensed gambling establishments.

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

“September’s revenue decrease puts our year-to-date increase up 2.63 percent. Sports wagering’s year-to-date increase is up 25.25%. Deadwood sports book operators fell just short of their goal of a million dollar month for sports wagers.”

Photo by David Zalubowski / AP Photo; illustrated by PlayUSA
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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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