The South Dakota Commission on Gaming reported last week that the May gaming handle in Deadwood increased more than 45% over May 2020.
Deadwood forced casinos to close through May 7, 2020, following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Casinos were first shuttered on March 25, when the city council passed an ordinance ordering the closures.
According to the May 2021 report, gamblers put more than $120 million in slot machines and $8.6 million in table game bets. In all, visitors to Deadwood's casinos spent nearly $129 million on wagers in May.
Slot machine handle increased 41.91% and table game handle increased by 138.26% when compared to May 2020, the report showed, noting the seven-day closure at the beginning of May 2020.
The casinos had a taxable adjusted gross revenue of $12.1 million, with $1,091,399.44 in taxes due to various state, county and local government entities.
"Deadwood gaming revenues continue to roar along,” said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. "May’s strong gaming numbers highlight the early beginnings to an exceptional tourism season.”
Through the first five months of 2021, gamblers in Deadwood have spent nearly $587.7 million on wagers, an increase of 76.46% over 2020. Slot machines handled more than $550 million, a 75.54% increase over the same time period in 2020. Table games have seen nearly $37 million in bets made, a 91.29% gain from 2020.
The report showed casinos rewarded players with $1.4 million in "free play" during May.
Deadwood's 2,542 slot machines awarded players with more than $11.1 million in winnings, the majority of which came from penny slot machines. Deadwood has 92 table games with black jack, poker, craps and roulette. According to the report, gamblers won more than $1.6 million, the majority of which came from black jack and house-banked poker games.
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