Year-to-date still down

Deadwood casinos' handle slightly up to $131M in May, first uptick after two-month decline

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As reported by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, Deadwood’s casinos have perceived an increase in gambling in May after two months of handle decline, recording a slight rise of 1.77% year-over-year. Visitors to casinos in the jurisdiction spent more than $131 million on wagers and chip purchases last month.

During May, bettors put more than $123 million in slot machines, $7.7 million in chip purchases for table games, and $307,994 in sports bets. Slot machine handle increased 2.34% for the month, compared to 2021, on Deadwood’s 2,566 machines.

Even though May is a positive turn from March and April, when gaming handle decreased by 6.25% and 13% respectively, results are still down for the calendar year. So far, Deadwood casinos have experienced a 0.82% decrease over the same time frame in 2021.  

The year's overall slot machine handle is down by 1.12% in a year-over-year comparison. The commission’s report shows Deadwood’s 87 table games also saw a decrease of 9.74% for the month, and are down by 5% year-to-date.

Sports wagering in May included a statistical win for gamblers of $25,102, marking a better result compared to April 2022, which for the first time showed a loss since wagering was legalized last year. Most bets in May were placed on Major League Baseball games, followed by NBA games. 

So far in 2022, slot machines handled nearly $545 million, while table games saw just over $35 million in chip purchases, both a decrease over 2021. Sports wagering year-to-date is nearly $3.2 million. The casinos had a taxable adjusted gross income of just over $11.8 million in May, with over $1 million in taxes due to various state, county and local government entities. 

Deadwood Gaming Association’s executive director Mike Rodman stated: “We are pleased to see May’s numbers up, especially when compared to a strong May in 2021. May is usually a good indication of the trend for the summer season”, Rapid City Journal reported.