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South Dakota Casino Handle Sees 7.8% Growth In April

South Dakota casinos posted annual growth in April, showing gains in all areas of handle, according to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming.

Vintage Wood Sign Displaying Deadwood, South Dakota April 2023 Gaming Revenue
Photo by PlayUSA
J.R. Duren Avatar
2 mins read

South Dakota casinos enjoyed across-the-board annual growth in April, posting gains in all key areas of handle, according to data from the South Dakota Commission on Gaming (SDCG).

Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association (casinos are legal only in Deadwood), was impressed by sports betting’s growth, which topped 33%. The April 2023 gaming report said:

“2023 continues to be a strong year for Deadwood gaming. We are especially pleased to see the surprising April numbers for sports wagering, led by Major League Baseball”

Slots, table games, and sports betting post gains in April

All three of South Dakota’s gaming sectors saw growth compared to April 2022. Here’s a breakdown of those numbers:

Gaming TypeApril 2023 HandleApril 2023 RevenueYear-on-Year Growth
Slots$102,232,221.68$8,967,947.277.88%
Table Games$6,593,263.00$1,091,361.415.26%
Sports Betting$493,044.90$22,503.2733.79%
Total$109,318,529.58$10,081,811.957.81%

Penny slots drove most of the slots handle last month, generating more than $82 million in handle, according to SDCG data.

Additionally, a roughly $8 million jump in penny slots handle accounted for all of the handle increase casinos experienced year-on-year.

Sports betting handle jumps more than 33%

On the sports betting side, the industry saw a significant jump in handle and a solid rise in revenue. South Dakota casinos can thank Major League Baseball for that, as MLB bets doubled year-on-year:

SportApril 2023 HandleApril 2022 Handle
MLB$225,924.08$102,654.90
NBA$107,098.84$95,158.30
NCAA Men's Basketball$63,273.18$103,541.96
NHL$48,788.45$23,816.58
MMA/UFC$25,428.75$15,735.15 (MMA only)
PGA$8,473.60$14,208.90
NASCAR$3,741.00$2,347.00
Soccer$3,736.85$5,856.01
NFL$2,908.55$2,257.00
Boxing$2,479.80$901.50
Tennis$691.80$1,140.70
USFL$330.00$514.25
Formula 1$140.00N/A
NCAA Men's Football$30.00$35
NCAA HockeyN/A$139.03
Total$493,044.90$368,516.80

Revenue-wise, sportsbooks posted a $22,503 win before taxes. That number was up significantly from April 2022, when sportsbooks posted a $13,734 loss.

What’s ahead for South Dakota sports betting

We should see some modest handle and revenue gains in May and June, as Deadwood’s tourist season heats up. The city hosts multiple Memorial Day events. Additionally, its street performances kick off Memorial Day weekend.

We’ll likely see the total handle surge past $130 million in May and approach $140 million in June.

J.R. Duren Avatar
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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.

View all posts by 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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