eadwood's gaming industry saw a positive handle in December, with a growth of more than 20% over the same month of 2019, according to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. In total, players put more than $99 million in slot machines and on table game wagers in December.
Slot machines handled $93 million in play and table games handled $6 million. After subtracting wins and free-play giveaways, Deadwood casinos had an adjusted gross revenue of more than $8.2 million in December and the state collected $744,548 in taxes based on the gaming revenue.
While gaming for the entire year was down, mostly due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the results show the year-end gaming handle was only reduced by 2.35% when compared to 2019. Total gaming handle in Deadwood for 2020 was $1.1 billion, the gaming commission reported.
Mike Rodman, president of the Deadwood Gaming Association, said he was excited with the results, Rapid City Journal reports. "What a strong finish for Deadwood gaming. It is amazing that we have bounced back to finish the year down only 2.35%," he said. "This put Deadwood’s casino win for 2020 at almost $104 million."
Rodman said Deadwood took the COVID-19 pandemic seriously by temporarily closing down casinos March 25 and then enforcing strict protocols when they reopened in May. He also praised Gov. Kristi Noem and her messaging to the rest of the nation that South Dakota was open for business. "We applaud Gov. Noem’s pro-business approach during the pandemic and her commitment of additional tourism marketing dollars that made these numbers possible," Rodman said.