Deadwood’s decline in gaming revenues changed course in October, posting a rare positive month, according to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. Deadwood casinos collectively won $9 million in October. This was up three percent from the previous year.
Casino Games and Revenue
Slot revenues were level with October 2016. The city’s 3,086 slot machines won $7.9 million. The 2,367 penny slots took in more than three-quarters of that amount.
Table Games – Blackjack a Big Winner
Table games raked in $1.1 million. Blackjack was the big winner out of the group. The 39 blackjack tables in Deadwood combined to win $457,000. The number of blackjack tables in Deadwood decreased by nine over the past year. Two of these tables were at Midnight Star, which closed in August.
Poker Revenue Increased After Years of Struggle
Poker, which has struggled significantly in recent years, saw an increase of 17 percent in revenues year-over-year. The city’s 16 tables raked $106,000. This is one fewer table than October 2016.
The four craps tables in Deadwood won $71,000. This was more than double the previous year. Roulette dropped 22 percent year-over-year, winning $47,000.
Video Lottery Expanding
The state’s video lottery is also a competitor. The South Dakota Lottery expanded this product into slots, giving locals a reason to stay at local casinos as opposed to taking the trip to Deadwood. The South Dakota Video Lottery previously only offered video poker, keno, bingo, and blackjack.
The maximum video lottery payback in South Dakota is 92 percent. The maximum return permitted in Deadwood is 99.9 percent.
September Was a Rough Month
Deadwood gamblers were a bit unlucky last month. Handle dropped two percent over the previous year as gaming revenues increased.
Deadwood continues to see lower tourism than it experienced just a few years ago. The regional economy is one reason for this. Nearby states rely on coal and oil to stabilize local economies. Neither is experiencing a boom at this time.
Casinos Closing Due to Decrease in Economy
This decline in the regional economy has forced one casino to close and several others to go up for sale. Midnight Star, owned by actor Kevin Costner, closed before Labor Day Weekend. The property is currently for sale. That ended Costner’s 26-year run as a Deadwood casino owner, where he advocated for aggressive expansion, which included a plan to run a train from Rapid City to Deadwood that would have given easier airport access to tourists. Costner sold other lands he planned to develop in 2015.
As we reported in September, there are eight casinos for sale in Deadwood. Some are also hotels. One is a full-scale resort located on the edge of town.
Popular Poker room at The Lodge
One bright spot in the Deadwood gaming economy is The Lodge at Deadwood. Located near Mt Roosevelt on the north end of town, The Lodge offers the most popular poker room in Deadwood, as well as good blackjack rules. The best video poker in Deadwood is also found there.