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Deadwood gaming revenue increases to new heights, report shows

Downtown Deadwood

Downtown Deadwood

Deadwood's casinos are continuing to do very well in 2021, and with the addition of sports betting as an option, September's gaming handle increased by more than 14% over September 2020 and year-to-date tops $1.1 billion.

According to a report from the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, the September gaming handle increased 14.35% over September 2020. The report shows gamblers put nearly $148 million in slot machines, $7.1 million in table game bets, and $443,365 in sports bets.

In all, visitors to Deadwood's casinos spent more than $155 million on wagers in September.

Slot machine handle increased 14.36% and table game handle increased by 7.43% when compared to September 2020, the report showed. This was the first report to include bets on sporting events after the gambling was legalized.

"Deadwood’s sports wagering debut of just four properties, and 22 days in September is a great start,” said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. "With more properties coming on board before the end of the year, and our sports wagering catalogue proposed expansion in December, we see exciting opportunities in 2022 for sports wagering.”

The casinos had a taxable adjusted gross revenue of more than $13.6 million in September, with $1,229,098.02 in taxes due to various state, county and local government entities.

Through the first nine months of 2021, gamblers in Deadwood have spent nearly $1.2 billion on wagers, an increase of 40.02% over 2020. Last year, casinos were temporarily closed with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

So far in 2021, slot machines handled more than $1 billion, a 39.28% increase over the same time period in 2020. Table games have seen just over $69 million in bets made, a 51.79% gain from 2020.

The report showed casinos rewarded players with $1.5 million in "free play" during September.

Deadwood's 2,535 slot machines awarded players with more than $13 million in winnings, the majority of which came from penny slot machines. Deadwood has 90 table games with black jack, poker, craps and roulette. According to the report, gamblers won nearly $1.4 million, the majority of which came from black jack and house-banked poker games.

Four casinos offered sports wagering in September, with gamblers winning just over $71,000. The majority of the bets were placed on professional and college football games.

South Dakota voters approved sports wagering in November 2020. The law went into effect July 1.

The gaming commission approved a Sept. 8 catalogue of sporting events that gamblers can place bets on, including Olympic events, professional and college sports. The determination allowed casinos in Deadwood to begin sports betting operations Sept. 9.

Contact Nathan Thompson at nathan.thompson@rapidcityjournal.com.

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