South Dakota On Pace For Most Successful Gaming Year Ever

Written By T.J. McBride on June 2, 2023
South Dakota gaming numbers were up in April across the board.

South Dakota’s gaming industry is growing at a record pace. Players from Iowa are certainly playing a part in that growth.

South Dakota’s total gaming handle in April was $109.3 million, 7.81% higher than in April 2022. Taxable adjusted gross revenue in April was $9.5 million, with the state collecting around $859,000 in taxes.

In the first four months of 2023, total handle in South Dakota is $466.2 million, 3.22% higher than the first quarter in 2022.

It is no coincidence that the boost in gaming numbers in South Dakota reflects the city of Deadwood’s continued gaming rise. New casinos have sprung up in the city over the last year, and there are now more than half a dozen places that offer sports betting

Sports betting, slots and table games all see increases in April

Mike Rodman, executive director for the Deadwood Gaming Association, told Black Hills Fox that the increase in sports betting stood out in April.

”We’re very happy with those numbers. The lead was kind of sports wagering, up 33% over April of last year, and we’re very happy to see that sports wagering growth continues to happen. We now currently have eight properties offering sports wagering, so there’s plenty of opportunity for folks to come and participate in wagering on their favorite sporting event.”

Sports betting grew by an incredible 33.8% YOY in April. In total, $493,000 was wagered on sports in South Dakota in April. That has brought the calendar year total to over $3 million, which is 6.27% better than the previous year.

Despite the higher sports betting numbers, South Dakota’s sports wagering ceiling is low compared to Iowa. Players can place wagers only in Deadwood or at a few tribal casinos in South Dakota. Also, unlike Iowa, online betting is prohibited.

Those two factors will severely limit the amount of money the state could make from sports betting. While considering population differences, Iowa’s average monthly sports betting handle is around $200 million, more than 400 times more than South Dakota’s.

Sports bettors in South Dakota favor MLB in April

Rodman told the Brookings Register that MLB betting was the driving force in sports wagering in The Mount Rushmore State.

“We are especially pleased to see the surprising April numbers for sports wagering, led by Major League Baseball. April’s performance puts us up 3.22% YTD over last year and on track to be our best year ever.”

The MLB was by far the most popular sport to bet on in South Dakota in April. It far outpaced the NBA and college basketball.

  • MLB: $226,000
  • NBA: $107,000
  • NCAA men’s basketball: $63,000

Slot machine handle also went up from April 2022, by 7.88%. In total, $102 million was wagered on slot machines in April. Table games saw a 5.26% jump YOY in April. The total handle was $6.6 million.

Deadwood’s revitalization a big factor in state gaming growth

Rodman pointed to Deadwood’s growth in gaming as a factor behind the strong numbers in April.

“2023 continues to be a strong year for Deadwood gaming.”

And Deadwood’s gaming future looks bright.

A new Hard Rock Rocksino in the city will have its grand opening on Aug. 8. Hard Rock is the first major player in the gaming industry to bring a destination casino to Deadwood, which should shake things up quite a bit.

There is also a new operator of the Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel and Gaming Complex in Deadwood. The owners will likely look to renovate the property in the near future.

This comes after two historic hotels were purchased in 2021 and are being remodeled the Bullock and Hickock’s.

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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based NBA and Denver Nuggets reporter and a regular contributor to regularly at He brings his in-depth sports and sports betting knowledge to his coverage of the legal gambling industry across regional sites at Catena Media.

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