Overseen by SD Commission on Gaming

Deadwood casinos to add self-exclusion, gambling integrity plans as part of new regulations package

Reading time 1:39 min

Licensed gaming venues in Deadwood, South Dakota, will now be required to prove to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming that they have put processes in place to watch for illegal activity and to keep compulsive people from betting. 

The new safeguards are part of a package of regulations that the Legislature's Rules Review Committee gave final approval to on Tuesday. One of the commission's proposed rules, which focuses on how minors should be monitored in gambling areas, was withdrawn after talks with Deadwood casino personnel. 

As reported by Kelo.com, Senator Jean Hunhoff quizzed the commission's attorney, Doug Abraham, about a new regulation that requires a casino to have a plan for a person who formally asks to be excluded from betting

 “A lot of other areas have similar situations. I’m not aware of an area in Deadwood that had this", Abraham said. He called on the commission’s deputy executive secretary, Mark Heltzel, who said it’s a national practice. “We just followed suit and tried to offer that to our customers. We never had a specific incident where we felt we needed to raise that concern,” Heltzel said.

The regulation requires that each casino’s plan receive approval from the commission’s executive secretary, Susan Christian, and that each casino report monthly to her office those who have voluntarily excluded themselves.

Many Deadwood casinos have been hit with violations since sports wagering began last fall. The new patron protection regulations outline requirements each casino must follow, including mechanisms that allow guests to detect unauthorized use of their accounts and methods of resolving disputes between patrons and casinos.

The regulations also require casinos to “promptly notify” the commission regarding anyone caught or reasonably suspected of misrepresenting their identity or using false identity in an attempt to open or access a patron account, as well as any criminal or disciplinary proceedings commenced against the casino in connection with sports wagering operations.

The new measures come as Deadwood’s casinos 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.

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