Gaming In South Dakota

South Dakota features a historic betting stop on its map, thanks to gambling in Deadwood, a small town in the Black Hills. Gov. Kim Noems signed Senate Bill 44 into law in March 2021, and before the summer’s end, the city of Deadwood added legal sports betting to its collection of table games and slot machines.

It’s unclear how much that will affect Iowa sportsbooks, if at all. The regulatory framework in South Dakota does not allow for sports betting outside of Deadwood casino properties. In contrast, bettors in Iowa can access online sportsbooks anywhere in the Hawkeye State. For that reason, you may see South Dakotans drive east to cross the Iowa state line instead of the long trip west past the Badlands en route to Deadwood.

Is Online Sports Betting in South Dakota Legal?

No; however, retail sports betting is allowed in Deadwood.

If South Dakota sports betting ever expands to allow mobile wagering statewide, it will likely still be tethered to commercial and tribal casinos. They are a powerful lobbying group in the state legislature. Thus, the strong likelihood is that online sportsbooks would operate under their auspices in South Dakota.

Additionally, it might take another constitutional amendment to open up statewide online betting. To date, lawmakers in South Dakota favor a narrow interpretation of the state constitution on the matter. That restricts legal wagering to in-person bets at Deadwood or tribal casinos. Sports wagering advocates hoped Deadwood-anchored online sportsbook servers could be a loophole to offer statewide sports betting. But South Dakota lawmakers aren’t ready to make that leap.

How Legal Sports Betting in Deadwood Began

The legalization of sports betting in Deadwood began in the capital city of Pierre, SD:

  • March 2020: The South Dakota Legislature approves the proposal to amend the state constitution.
  • November 2020: Voters approve the amendment by an almost two-thirds margin.
  • March 18, 2021: Gov. Kristi Noem signs the legislation.
  • July 1: Sportsbook operators can enter an agreement with Deadwood casinos with a $5,000 application fee.
  • July 14: The Deadwood Gaming Association approves the sports betting rules at its regular meeting.
  • Aug. 2: Scheduled date for regulations to be approved by the state legislature.
  • Sept. 8: Scheduled date for approving sports betting operators.
  • Sept. 9: Sports betting goes live by 10 a.m. on a Thursday with a ceremonial first bet by Deadwood mayor Dave Ruth Jr.

Although the law allows tribal casino operators in the state to also offer retail wagering, none of them have renegotiated their gaming compacts with the state and federal government to enable it. They are free to do so at any time.

Where are the Retail Sportsbooks in Deadwood?

Deadwood could potentially be home to 13 retail sportsbooks.

BetMGM Sportsbook

The BetMGM retail sportsbook is partners with Liv Hospitality. Liv Hospitality operates the Tin Lizzy and Cadillac Jack’s gaming resorts in Deadwood.

Cadillac Jack’s: 360 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-1500

The casino offers multiple betting kiosks and stations for bettors to write in sports wagers.

Tin Lizzy’s: 555 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-1715

Tin Lizzy’s features a brand-new sportsbook venue, retail betting windows, big-screen TVs and betting kiosks around the property.

ISI Sports

Internet Sports International (ISI) Sports operates two retail locations in Deadwood: Mustang Sally’s Casino and Gold Dust Casino & Hotel. You can find them at:

Gold Dust Casino & Hotel: 688 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-2100

Mustang Sally’s Casino: 634 Main St., Deadwood; 605-578-2025

IGT PlaySports

IGT PlaySports will provide retail sports betting via kiosks and mobile sports wagering at Deadwood Mountain Grand casino and hotel. Its location is:

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

Popular Sports to Bet on in Deadwood

None of South Dakota’s cities are large enough to house a top-tier professional sports team. Bettors in Deadwood can wager on all major sports leagues, including:

  • Baseball: MLB
  • Basketball: NBA, WNBA
  • Fighting: UFC
  • Football: NFL
  • Golf: PGA Tour
  • Hockey: NHL
  • Motorsports: NASCARFormula 1 and IndyCar
  • Soccer: MLS
  • Tennis: ATP and WTA tours, US Open, Wimbledon

Although the state is home to independent minor league baseball and hockey teams, the franchise owners and venue operators are not allowed to apply for sportsbook licenses. State law only allows for commercial and tribal casinos to hold those types of licenses.

Can I Bet on College Sports in South Dakota?

State law allows for wagering on collegiate sporting events despite the fact that some competitors are 18 years or younger. However, the same law bans bets on games involving South Dakota colleges and universities. So, for example, if the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State are playing a March Madness game, you won’t find markets on that contest at Deadwood sportsbooks. In the same way, you can’t place a futures bet on any South Dakota team to win the tournament.

All games involving teams outside of SD are eligible. Thus, you can wager on college football teams and college basketball teams, such as the Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State and Wyoming, at Deadwood sportsbooks. Alternatively, if you want to place legal bets on South Dakota teams, you can travel to either Iowa or Wyoming to do so.

Are Online Casinos Legal in South Dakota?

Online casinos are illegal in South Dakota when real money is involved. However, another category of online casino-style games is legally available in the state. Sweepstakes casinos work like an online raffle for gift cards. They legally operate because there is no consideration element.

That means you do not have to pay to play in simpler terms. You can play the slots and video versions of table games on these sites for free. At the same time, you can still win real cash prizes. These sites operate on two types of currency; one, you can buy, but you can’t redeem for cash and another, you can redeem for cash, but you can’t purchase.

Winning cash prizes on these sites requires your participation, most notably in playing the games. The best sweepstakes casinos available in South Dakota include Luckyland Slots, Funzpoints and Chumba Casino.

Is Daily Fantasy Sports in SD Legal?

The South Dakota government has been hands-off on the issue of paid daily fantasy sports (DFS) games throughout its history. These contests, which require paid entries to compete for real cash prizes, are neither explicitly legal nor expressly forbidden in the South Dakota code. In fact, the state’s attorney general in 2015 declined to render an opinion on the legality of such contests.

For these reasons, most paid-entry fantasy sites do accept players from South Dakota, including:

  • DraftKings
  • FanDuel
  • Monkey Knife Fight
  • PrizePicks

South Dakota Casino Gambling

Within South Dakota’s borders, you will find more than 30 commercial and tribal casinos, all of which are land-based. All the non-tribal casinos are in Deadwood, while the 10 tribal facilities are scattered throughout the state. Commercial casinos have operated in Deadwood since 1989, while the first tribal casinos opened in 1993.

Casinos in Deadwood

  1. Buffalo Bodega Gaming Complex
  2. Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort
  3. Deadwood Gulch Gaming Resort
  4. Deadwood Mountain Grand 
  5. Deadwood Station Bunkhouse & Gambling Hall
  6. First Gold Gaming Resort
  7. Gold Country Inn & Gambling Hall  
  8. Gold Dust Casino & Hotel
  9. Hickok’s Hotel & Gaming
  10. Historic Bullock Hotel
  11. Iron Horse Inn
  12. Lucky 8 Gaming
  13. The Lodge at Deadwood Gaming Resort
  14. Mineral Palace Hotel & Gaming
  15. Mustang Sally’s Casino
  16. Old Style Saloon No. 10
  17. Oyster Bay Bar & Casino
  18. Silverado-Franklin Historic Hotel & Gaming Complex
  19. Tin Lizzy’s Gaming Resort
  20. Wooden Nickel Casino

South Dakota tribal casinos

The tribal casinos in South Dakota include, with their nearby cities in parentheses:

  1. Dakota Connection Casino (Sisseton)
  2. Dakota Sioux Casino & Hotel (Watertown)
  3. East Wind Casino (Martin)
  4. Fort Randall Casino & Hotel (Lake Andes)
  5. Golden Buffalo Casino & Hotel (Lower Brule)
  6. Grand River Casino & Resort (Mobridge)
  7. Lode Star Casino (Fort Thompson)
  8. Prairie Wind Casino & Hotel (Oglala)
  9. Royal River Casino & Hotel (Flandreau)
  10. Slot Hall Yankton Sioux Travel Plaza (Lake Andres)

All the above are free to offer poker, slots and table games. Tribal casinos in the state tend to be much larger than their Deadwood counterparts due to the state’s rigorous limits on gaming positions. For example, the most robust Deadwood casinos have fewer than 400 slot machines. The biggest tribal casinos have thousands of slots.

Gambling Responsibly in South Dakota

There are many resources available to South Dakotans seeking information about responsible gambling. Most of them are free to access and users can do so anonymously if they wish. The SD Lottery has a page devoted to responsible play including tips on how to avoid developing a compulsive gaming issue, warning signs of a pathological problem, and information on scams. The state’s Dept. of Social Services has information on accessing treatment for addiction.

The National Council on Problem Gambling has a helpline available via chat. If you prefer, you can also call or text 800-522-4700. Support options include:

  • Gamblers Anonymous: This is a support forum for people who struggle with compulsive gambling issues themselves.
  • Gam-Anon: This organization provides support for loved ones of people who have pathological gaming problems.
  • Gam Talk: An online support channel for anyone affected by problem gambling.

Why You Shouldn’t Bet with an Offshore Sportsbook

Federal and state laws are clear on this subject. Placing a wager in South Dakota with an offshore website is illegal. Besides being unlawful, these sites don’t offer the consumer protections that legal gaming sites do.

There is no recourse for a bettor treated unfairly by an illegal gambling website. There are no protocols for the safety of consumers’ identifying information. By using an illegal gambling website, you take the risk of the company selling your private information. It also requires you to have blind faith that the website’s purveyors will pay you accordingly should win your wager. Additionally, illegal gambling websites prey upon people with compulsive gaming issues.

With legal online sports betting in Wyoming, there are three states bordering South Dakota with wagering options. Additionally, many Deadwood casinos and in the future tribal casinos will offer regulated retail wagering in South Dakota. Those are all superior choices compared to the risks associated with illegal gambling.

Other Gambling Options in South Dakota

Dog races and horse races in South Dakota

South Dakota is one of only a few states where greyhound racing could still be allowed. While technically legal, no dog tracks are active in the state. The last two tracks —  Black Hills Greyhound Track in Rapid City and Sodrac Park in South Sioux City — closed in 1994 and 1995, respectively.

Pari-mutuel wagering on horses is legal in South Dakota; however, there are no horse racetracks dedicated solely to live racing in the state. Summertime fairs offer a few sparse thoroughbred races on an annual basis.

Bet on horse racing with the TVG app

Yes, TVG accepts online wagers on hundreds of horse racing events from bettors in SD. Registration is easy, free and quick. You can complete the entire process online as well. Once the TVG app verifies your eligibility to place wagers, you can easily deposit funds into your account using a variety of payment forms. At that point, you can take advantage of TVG’s generous welcome offer. TVG has live odds for hundreds of events, handicapping tools, data on past races, and live streaming of select events all in the app.

Card and poker rooms in South Dakota

You can find poker rooms in South Dakota of various sizes at commercial and tribal casinos. There are no legal card rooms outside of those types of facilities, however. Tribal casinos offer a greater variety and more seats than their Deadwood cousins simply because of the difference in size.

South Dakota Lottery

Since 1989, South Dakotans have been able to visit a broad array of retailers to purchase lottery tickets, thanks to the South Dakota Lottery. The available games include popular draw-style titles, such as Mega Millions, offered through the state lottery’s participation in the Multi-State Lottery Corporation.

To date, sales of online lottery tickets in South Dakota remain illegal.

South Dakota Gaming FAQ

Under state law, the Deadwood Gaming Association (DGA) regulates sports betting in SD. Mike Rodman is the director of the DGA. As far as sports betting at tribal casinos goes, the individual compacts between the state government and the relevant tribal gaming bodies govern that activity.

Counting all the Deadwood properties and tribal properties, South Dakota is home to 30 casinos. All the facilities outside of Deadwood fall under the jurisdictions of tribal groups. Deadwood casinos are commercial facilities.

In November 2020, the state’s voters ratified a new amendment to their constitution to legalize sports betting. It only authorizes retail wagering at Deadwood and tribal casinos in the state, however. Online sports betting remains illegal in South Dakota.

Yes, most of the commercial and tribal casinos in South Dakota offer poker rooms. You will find more table games and variants at tribal casinos because those facilities tend to be larger.

Soon. State law allows any licensed gaming establishment in Deadwood and tribal casino operators in South Dakota to offer retail wagering. These facilities should start taking bets in September 2021.