As reported by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, Deadwood’s casinos started off the year with higher results compared to 2021, as January’s gaming handle increased by 6.75%. Visitors to Deadwood casinos spent $113 million on wagers in January.
The January 2022 report shows that gamblers put more than $105 million in slot machines, more than $7 million in table game bets and $835,251 in sports bets.
Slot machine handle increased by 6.88% when compared to January 2021, and table game handle decreased by 6.11%.
The casinos had a taxable adjusted gross revenue of $9.9 million in January, with $892,498 in taxes due to various state, county and local government entities. Players were rewarded with more than $1.5 million in “free play” during the first month of the year.
Deadwood’s 2,589 slot machines awarded customers with nearly $9.3 million in statistical winnings last month, the majority of which came from penny slots.
With 86 table games in January, including black jack, poker, craps and roulette, the statistical win for gamblers was $1.2 million, the majority of which came from black jack and house-banked poker.
Five Deadwood casinos offered sports wagering during January, with a statistical win of just over $82,000. The majority of bets were placed on professional football games, followed by men’s college basketball games. Sports wagering in the state became legal in September, thus marking this the first January market report.
Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, spoke about January’s numbers for the state and said: “It’s great to start 2022 with an increase on top of such an incredible year last year. We have high hopes that 2022 will be another exceptional year for Deadwood gaming”, and added that sports wagering operators are gearing up for their first March Madness, with the ability to place live sports wagers in Deadwood.
Earlier this month, the South Dakota Senate passed a proposal to allow voters to decide whether to expand online sports betting across the state. The State Joint Resolution 502 passed by a single vote, and has now moved off the Senate floor and over to the House of Representatives.
Resolution 502 seeks to put a constitutional amendment question on the November ballot, asking voters in the state whether they want to expand sports betting to anywhere in the Mount Rushmore State, to be carried through websites and mobile apps, as long as the products are routed through computer servers in Deadwood casinos.
The Deadwood Gaming Association declined to testify on the legislative resolution on sports betting expansion, and claimed that in-person sports betting contributes to customer flow in the area.
While stakeholders including the Sports Betting Alliance, a coalition of pro sports teams and betting operators, and the Flandreau Santee Sioux showed public support to the bill, the Gaming Association was the notable absentee during testimony at the Capitol: Deadwood casinos are deadlocked on the gaming expansion.
Rodman stated: "We did not reach a consensus here in Deadwood on that bill. When Deadwood Gaming does not have consensus, we don't take a position", and pointed out that the industry is nearly split in half on the issue.