And Bettors Are Off! Deadwood Sports Betting Goes Live In Time For NFL Week 1

Posted By Russ Mitchell on September 9, 2021

As of 10 a.m. today, Sept. 9, you can add South Dakota to the list of states where sports betting is legal.

But it comes with a significant caveat: The law states that sports betting has to occur “within the interior of a licensed gaming establishment” in Deadwood, SD.

Deadwood drew the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Wyatt Earp in the Black Hills gold rush era; now bettors and sportsbook operators hope to find good fortune in the city.

Can I bet on NFL Week 1 games in Deadwood?

Yes! It would have been a calamity for Deadwood to miss the first primetime game of the NFL season.

Deadwood Gaming Association executive director Mike Rodman said at least two of the state’s three new sportsbooks should be ready to take NFL bets in time for Thursday Night Football.

Deadwood Mayor Dave Ruth Jr. will place the state’s first sports bet at part of a 10 a.m. ceremony today at Tin Lizzy Gaming Resort.

The NFL regular season kicks off tonight when the Dallas Cowboys travel to the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Can I bet once I arrive in Deadwood?

You’re getting close.

Once you’re inside a gambling-approved Deadwood location, you will be able to bet from a sports betting window or kiosk. Depending on the casino/sportsbook, you may be able to dodge the line and bet using a mobile sports betting app while inside the facility.

Deadwood is home to 13 full-scale casinos, and Rodman thinks at least 10 of them plan to offer sports betting.

The city is about 50 miles northwest of Mount Rushmore. Sturgis, home of the famous motorcycle rally, is about 20 miles to the east.

Which Deadwood sportsbooks are live today?

The South Dakota Commission on Gaming (SDCG) approved three retail sports betting licenses at Wednesday’s meeting: BetMGM, ISI Sports and IGT PlaySports.

BetMGM Sportsbook at Tin Lizzy and Cadillac Jack’s

BetMGM Sportsbook was the first sportsbook to confirm its arrival in Deadwood.

It is working with Liv Hospitality through an exclusive partnership. Liv Hospitality operates the Tin Lizzy and Cadillac Jack’s gaming resorts in Deadwood.

  • Cadillac Jack’s: 360 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-1500
  • Tin Lizzy’s: 555 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-1715

BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said:

“Liv Hospitality’s prime resort locations in Deadwood make it an ideal partner for us. Together, we look forward to bringing the BetMGM sports betting experience to South Dakota sports fans.”

As of now, BetMGM is the only heavily advertised brand to set up shop in Deadwood. The SDCG approved a one-year temporary license for BetMGM while regulators continue routine background checks.

ISI Sports at Mustang Sally’s and Gold Dust

Rodman said ISI Sports also should be ready to take bets at 10 a.m. local time today.

Internet Sports International (ISI) Sports received a one-year temporary license on Wednesday to set up at two retail locations in Deadwood. Mustang Sally’s Casino and Gold Dust Casino & Hotel.

  • Gold Dust Casino & Hotel: 688 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-2100
  • Mustang Sally’s Casino: 634 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-2025

ISI Sports isn’t a household name, but the company dates back to 1999 and helped develop iSports Stand, the first sports betting kiosk in Nevada. ISI has operator licenses in Colorado and Oregon. They also have a tribal access agreement in Wisconsin.

IGT PlaySports at Deadwood Mountain Grand Casino

IGT PlaySports will provide retail sports betting via kiosks and mobile sports wagering at Deadwood Mountain Grand casino and hotel. Rodman said IGT has an approved contract in hand, but the sportsbook may or may not be ready to go live by Sept. 9.

  • Deadwood Mountain Grand: 1905 Deadwood Mountain Drive, Deadwood; 605-559-0386

International Game Technology (IGT) has manufactured and distributed slot machines for Deadwood since gaming was first allowed in 1989. Because they continually renewed that license, the SDCG was able to grant the operator a full conditional license for sports betting.

What sports can I bet on in South Dakota?

Every major league sport is available for betting, especially the main four: MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL. And you’ll find the latest odds for these at the above-listed live and legal sportsbooks.

However, South Dakota state law prohibits sports bets on:

  • High school games
  • Minor league games
  • In-state college games
  • Prop bets based on an individual player’s performance

Will Deadwood get more sportsbooks?

Rodman said three more sports betting operators are close to meeting requirements for a presence in Deadwood. The SDCG isn’t scheduled to meet again until Dec. 15, but members are willing to convene for a special session.

Rodman said:

“The commission said that they were amenable to having a special commission meeting before December, if the staff completed the background investigations and were ready to license those three additional sports wagering service providers. It could be within a month, or it could be a couple months, just depending on when the staff is ready.”

The Deadwood gaming executive director said he doesn’t know which newcomers are wrapping up details with the commission’s staff.

The city has 13 “route operators.” The route operators can place sports betting kiosks at approved historic business locations. The companies own the equipment and give the hosting business a share of the gambling revenue.

Deadwood sports betting ready for debut

Rodman thinks Deadwood remains viable as a gaming destination when it can provide options customers are asking for.

“And they’ve certainly been asking for sports wagering. We think it’s really exciting that we’re going to be able to have that option now for them. It’s going to be well-received. I think the revenues are going to be surprising.”

Sports betting operators will pay a $5,000 license application fee to set up shop at a Deadwood casino. Much like slot machine installments, the state will collect a $2,000 fee for every sportsbook kiosk installed at the Deadwood property as well.

South Dakota voters said yes to betting

Residents showed their support for sports betting in South Dakota, so there’s always a chance the industry could expand beyond the Black Hills.

About three out of five voters in South Dakota supported Amendment B in November 2020, and state lawmakers set the rules during the legislative session. Aside from wagering compacts on tribal properties:

  • Sports betting can only take place in Deadwood.
  • Customers need to be within the Deadwood business to bet on games.

When sports betting in Nebraska goes live, it will also only allow sports betting at the casino property.

The Iowa sports betting market is more established and less restrictive. Customers need to be inside state lines to wager bet online in Iowa.

Photo by Matt Patterson / AP
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Russ Mitchell

Russ Mitchell has been covering news and sports in northwest Iowa since 1997, including 11 years as managing editor for one of the most acclaimed community newspapers in the state. He looks forward to keeping readers up to date on the growing sportsbook industry in Iowa.

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