Iowans Can Visit Deadwood In August For Opening Of Hard Rock’s Rocksino

Written By Hill Kerby on May 17, 2023 - Last Updated on May 24, 2023
Rocksino is set to open in Deadwood, SD, in August.

Deadwood, SD, is getting a new casino this summer, and it’s sure to rock your socks off.

Hard Rock International’s new “Rocksino” in the historic Gold Rush city will host a grand opening on Aug. 8. A legendary guitar smash will signify the new casino’s opening.

Iowans looking to visit Mount Rushmore this summer could consider adding a two-hour drive north to their itinerary to visit the first Hard Rock casino in South Dakota.

Hard Rock will have casinos in 12 states

Given Deadwood’s location in southwest South Dakota, the new Rocksino should not affect Iowa’s casino industry. It is nearly 400 miles from the Iowa border. Furthermore, Iowa has a mature industry, with 23 casinos and a 35-year history. Unfortunately, Iowa online casinos are still prohibited in the Hawkeye State, even though online sports betting has been a complete success since its launch in 2019.

Rocksino simply gives Iowans another reason to visit its northwest neighbor.

South Dakota will become the 12th state where Hard Rock operates casinos. Upon its launch, it will join the likes of casinos like Iowa’s Hard Rock Sioux City, which has been open since August 2014.

Jon Lucas, chief operating officer at Hard Rock International, said Deadwood’s Old West history lured the company.

“Hard Rock prides itself on being able to provide authentic and memorable experiences for our guests embodied by music and rich cultural history. We are thrilled to become a part of one of the most celebrated historic places in the U.S. and provide an economic stimulus to the city of Deadwood.”

Rocksino General Manager Rich Turbiville echoed Lucas, saying Hard Rock officials felt drawn to the historic town.

“They just fell in love with the Black Hills, and they wanted to be a part of it. And with the history, the mystique of Deadwood, the Gold Rush days, it just goes hand in hand with what they try to promote worldwide.”

New casino will fit the location

Unlike some of Hard Rock’s iconic mega-resorts in Florida, Atlantic City, and Nevada, its Deadwood Rocksino will have a smaller footprint to fit its setting. Nestled in the heart of the iconic Black Hills, Deadwood has 20 casinos, all of which are on the small side. None have more than 350 slots.

Rocksino will feature a boutique hotel and casino with 86 slot machines, luxury guest rooms, a full-service restaurant and bar, and a signature Hard Rock retail store.

With its entry into South Dakota, Hard Rock is taking steps to help the local community. It announced a partnership with the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, which provides mortgage-free housing to injured veterans and first responders. 

The partnership will benefit the Oglala Sioux Tribal Veterans Program. The company will announce further details about its involvement at the grand opening.

Hard Rock brings instant authority

Hard Rock will be the first major casino operator in Deadwood. As a result, it will bring a new level of authority as the 21st casino in town.

Beyond that, it has hospitality, entertainment, and gambling experience on a global scale. It will bring this prowess from the beginning, elevating the city’s standards for gaming and live performances.

Rocksino also brings added incentives to Hard Rock gamblers from other states, like bordering Iowa. Its loyalty program will be in effect, allowing members to earn and use points at Hard Rock properties worldwide.

The property may not be the largest in the city, but it will become a massive draw from Day 1. Some local gamblers will remain loyal to their current establishments, but most of Deadwood’s traffic comes from tourists for the area’s numerous attractions. Many casino goers already know and trust the Hard Rock brand, immediately giving Rocksino a leg up.

Photo by Hard Rock International, artist rendering
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Hill Kerby

Hill Kerby is a proponent of safe, legal betting, and is grateful to be able to contribute to growing the industry. He has a background in poker, sports, and psychology, all of which he incorporates into his writing. He now brings his experience to PlayIA.

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