South Dakota

Two Deadwood casinos fined for illegal sports bets; city sees 10% gaming handle growth in February

Sportsbook terminals at Gold Dust Casino & Hotel in Deadwood. Source: Facebook.
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The South Dakota Commission on Gaming fined two Deadwood casinos and an internet sportsbook company $3,000 each for accepting illegal bets on sporting events. Gold Dust Hotel and Casino, Mustang Sally’s and Internet Sports International were the operators to receive penalties. This measure was revealed the same week the regulator posted positive results for the city's casinos.

The illegal activity included accepting bets on college basketball games involving South Dakota State University and future games on the NCAA basketball tournament before the competition field was set. The state gaming laws prohibit sports bets on collegiate level teams, or individual athletes based in the state; as well as wagering on events where the teams or individuals involved have not yet been set. 

According to documents from Wednesday’s Commission meeting, Gold Dust accepted two wagers on SDSU basketball and allowed four future bets on the NCAA tournament. Mustang Sally’s accepted two future bets on the same event. 

Internet Sports International, which provides the sports gambling kiosks to Gold Dust, received the penalty for allowing betting on SDSU and future wagers for the NCAA tournament. 

Two individuals who work in casinos also received fines for manually overriding the $1,000 limit on placing bets on NFL games.

There were more non-sports betting-related fines such as Willy’s Wild West at Gold Country Inn, which got a $2,500 fine for repeatedly failing to inspect surveillance equipment. One poker dealer at another casino was fined for having an extra queen of hearts in an active poker deck. 

February's performance

Moreover, Deadwood casinos continue in an upward trend that was also seen in February’s report, as gaming handle increased by more than 10% in a year-over-year comparison, topping more than $220 million.

As the South Dakota Commission on Gaming reported, gamblers put nearly $100 million in slot machines, $6.1 million table games and $685,631 in sports bets.  Visitors to Deadwood’s casinos spent more than $107 million on wagers and chip purchases during the second month of the year. 

Slot machine handle saw an increase by almost 10% on Deadwood’s 2,612 machines and 87 table games increased by 4.31% when compared to February 2021, according to the report. 

Sports wagering injected $681,631 in February’s handle, a statistical win of $71,807. Most bets were placed on NCAA men’s basketball and NFL games. 

The casinos’ taxable adjusted gross revenue accounted for more than $10 million last month, with $904,771 in taxes due to various state, county and local government entities. 

So far in 2022, slot machines handled nearly $205 million, an 8.37% increase over the same time period in 2021. Table games saw just over $13 million in chips, which is slightly lower than 2021, showing a 1.29% decline through February. Sports wagering year-to-date is just over $1.5 million.