South Dakota Casinos

South Dakota Casinos & Gambling
  • (the year some form of legal gambling was allowed in the state): 1987 (Lottery), 1989 (Casinos), Video Lottery (1989)
  • Deadwood casinos pay about $10 million per year in taxes. The video lottery pulls in about $100 million for the state. Traditional lottery sales generate about $50 million per year in taxes.
  • $110 million per year generated by Deadwood casinos. Video Lottery generates about $200 million per year. Lottery sales are about $100 million per year.
  • 18 for lottery tickets, 21 for video lottery, racing, and casinos
  • Smoking is banned in Deadwood and video lottery casinos. It does not apply to reservation casinos.
  • Horseracing is the only version of online gambling legal in South Dakota.

Becoming the third state to legalize gambling, South Dakota casinos started appearing in 1989. The industry was created through a statewide constitutional amendment to save Deadwood, a former mining town that was heading towards ghost town status. This state law also permitted gambling on reservations. There are nine tribal South Dakota casinos that operate today.

Also in 1989, the South Dakota video lottery was approved by the state legislature. These are slot machines in bars and gas stations in towns of all sizes throughout the state. South Dakota video lottery eventually required a constitutional amendment to exist, and has survived multiple ballot referendums since. There is also a traditional lottery in South Dakota.

South Dakota law only permits one form of online gambling. That is horse racing. There has been some talk at the state legislature that gaming will expand over the Internet in the future but nothing has come from it.

Paying Gambling Taxes in South Dakota

Do you have to pay taxes on your gambling winnings? OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos has gathered everything you need to know about paying taxes straight from a Certified Public Accountant. For more information, please visit our exclusive Gambling Taxes article.

Types of Online South Dakota Gambling Allowed

Horseracing iconHorse racing is the only form of online betting that is explicitly legal in South Dakota. Wagers are accepted over the Internet and on mobile apps. Bettors may place wagers at sites like TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires. These sites offer the same odds as the off-track betting parlors in South Dakota.

Daily fantasy sports is believed to be legal in South Dakota. State Attorney General Marty Jackley and the gaming commission declined to issue an opinion without more guidance from the legislature. State law specifically forbids online gambling not directly authorized by the legislature. The only question is whether daily fantasy sports are gambling under state law.

Types of Live South Dakota Gambling

Popular games iconPopular Games
  • Slots: Yes
  • Blackjack: Yes
  • Poker: Yes
  • Craps/Roulette: Yes
  • Horses: Yes
  • Lottery: Yes

The first form of legalized gambling in South Dakota was racing. Betting on greyhounds and horses dates back to the 1940’s as a regulated industry. Dog racing is no longer available in the state. Two horse tracks operate today. One is the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Ft. Pierre. The other is the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen. Races are held in the spring. Off-track betting facilities are permitted to operate year round.

The South Dakota Lottery was approved by voters through a constitutional amendment in November 1986. September 1987 is when the first scratch-off ticket sold. South Dakota started selling lotto tickets in 1992.

The South Dakota Video Lottery was created by the state legislature in 1989. This legalized video keno, bingo, and video poker. The first machines were installed on October 16, 1989.

South Dakota video lottery is a hot-button topic. The measure came up for repeal in a statewide referendum in 1992 but it failed. Video lottery establishments may install up to 10 machines per location.

A less controversial form of gambling came when voters approved casinos in Deadwood. This was done to save the historic city from becoming a ghost town as it declined after a mining bust.

First Casino Games in South Dakota

The first games in Deadwood were slots, video poker, table games that use cards, and live poker. The bet limit was $5. This was raised to $100 in 2000.

Deadwood gaming revenue declined after a 2010 smoking ban was approved by voters. Deadwood casinos asked the legislature to raise the bet limits to $1,000 in 2013 to offset that and were successful.

In 2014, voters approved the expansion of table games to include craps and roulette. A Deadwood gaming establishment may have no more than 250 devices, which includes a combination of slots, video poker machines, and tables.

South Dakota Indian tribes are also permitted to offer the same games as Deadwood. The only difference is that reservation casinos do not pay a nine percent tax on gaming revenue that Deadwood pays.

South Dakota gambling lawsSouth Dakota does not have an income tax. It relies on sales tax and taxes placed on South Dakota gambling for its general fund. The South Dakota video lottery pays a 50 percent tax on each machine’s win. This generates about $100 million per year.

Sioux Falls and Rapid City, the state’s two largest cities, are inundated with video lottery casinos. Local jurisdictions may not restrict the number of businesses that offer video lottery. The only restrictions on video lottery licensees are that there may only be 10 machines per address and that the establishment must have a license for the on-premise consumption of alcohol.

Some South Dakota casinos with video lottery machines get a 10 machine limit. However, they can rent neighboring storefronts in a shopping center and create two separate suite numbers for the same business. This allows 20 machines to operate under one roof. Unlike some states with video lottery, South Dakota gambling businesses may openly advertise and call the business a casino.

Deadwood casinos pay nine percent of gaming revenue, the second-lowest in the country behind only Nevada. The state lottery generates about $50 million in revenue per year from the 50 percent of the sales.

The minimum South Dakota gambling age for traditional lottery players and horse bettors is 18 years of age. Video lottery and South Dakota casinos have a minimum age of 21 years of age in order to gamble.

The South Dakota Commission on Gaming regulates Deadwood casinos. It also sets policies on reservation gaming but has little oversight in those operations.

List of South Dakota Casinos

There are more than 1,400 South Dakota gambling establishments. The state uses the term “casino” very loosely. Any video lottery establishment may use that word even though there are 10 or fewer games located there. Virtually any bar and rural gas station can offer video lottery and is considered a South Dakota casino.

Deadwood is the largest town that offers traditional South Dakota casinos. That is where players will find Las Vegas-style slot machines, video poker, video table games, live poker, blackjack, Four Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker, craps, roulette, and real money keno. There are 17 major South Dakota casinos in Deadwood as well as a few shops with some slot machines.

There are nine reservation casinos in South Dakota. Remote casinos only offer slots and video poker, although there are a few poker rooms and table game pits among them. Tribal casinos are located in Flandreau, Lower Brule, Martin, Pine Ridge, Mission, Sisseton, Watertown, Mobridge, and Pickstown.

There are two racetracks in South Dakota. One is located in Ft. Pierre, while the other is in Aberdeen. There are also off-track betting shops in North Sioux City and Rapid City.

Best Western Hickok House – Deadwood27 Slot Machines137 Charles
Buffalo Bodega Complex – Deadwood74 Slot Machines658 Main
Bullock Hotel & Casino – Deadwood60 Slot Machines633 Main
Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort – Deadwood181 Slot Machines360 Main
Celebrity Hotel & Casino – Deadwood84 Slot Machines629 Main
Chances Casino – Rapid City20 Slot Machines1565 Haines Ave.No Website
Comfort Inn at Gulches of Fun Casino – Deadwood60 Slot Machines225 Cliff
CRST Bingo – Eagle Butte150 Bingo Seats2001 Main St.No Website
Dakota Connection Casino – Sisseton150 Slot Machines46102 SD Hwy
Dakota Sioux Casino – Watertown400 Slot Machines16415 Sioux Conifer
Deadwood Dicks Saloon – Deadwood3 Slot Machines51 Sherman
Deadwood Gulch Gaming Resort – Deadwood170 Slot Machines304 Cliff
Deadwood Gulch Saloon – Deadwood78 Slot Machines560 Main St.No Website
Deadwood Mountain Grand Hotel & Casino – Deadwood200 Slot Machines1906 Deadwood Mountain
Deadwood Station Bunkhouse & Gambling Hall – Deadwood25 Slot Machines68 Lower Main
Deano’s Casino – Rapid City10 Slot Machines903 E. North St.No Website
East Wind Casino – Martin100 Slot Machines110 Grandma B
First Gold Hotel & Gaming – Deadwood300 Slot Machines270 Lower Main
Fort Randall Casino – Pickstown350 Slot Machines38538
Gold Country Inn – Deadwood26 Slot Machines801 Main
Gold Dust Casino & Hotel – Deadwood200 Slot Machines688 Main
Golden Buffalo Casino – Lower Brule200 Slot Machines321 Sitting Bull
Grand River Casino & Resort – Mobridge250 Slot Machines2
Gregg’s Substation & Casino – Sioux Falls10 Slot Machines1000 W. 41st St.No Website
Hickok’s Hotel and Gaming – Deadwood100 Slot Machines685 Main
Iron Horse Inn – Deadwood19 Slot Machines27 Deadwood
Lode Star Casino & Hotel – Fort Thompson220 Slot MachinesHwy 34 and Hwy
Lucky 8 Casino – Deadwood82 Slot Machines196 Cliff
McKenna’s Gold Casino – Deadwood50 Slot Machines470 Main
Midnight Star – Deadwood57 Slot Machines677 Main
Mineral Palace Hotel and Gaming – Deadwood320 Slot Machines601 Historic Main
Mustang Sally’s – Deadwood42 Slot Machines634 Main
Old Style Saloon 10 – Deadwood80 Slot Machines657 Main
Oyster Bay Casino – Deadwood60 Slot Machines628 Main
Prairie Wind Casino & Hotel – Pine Ridge250 Slot
Rosebud Casino – Valentine250 Slot Machines30421
Royal River Casino & Hotel – Flandreau386 Slot Machines607 S. Veterans
Silverado Casino – Deadwood360 Slot Machines709 Upper Main
The Lodge at Deadwood – Deadwood280 Slot Machines100 Pine Crest
Time Out Lounge – Rapid City10 Slot Machines615 E. North St.No Website
Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort – Deadwood280 Slot Machines555 Lower Main
Toby’s Casino South – Rapid City10 Slot Machines710 Cleveland St.No Website
Wooden Nickel Casino – Deadwood80 Slot Machines9 Lee
Yankton Sioux Travel Plaza – Lake Andes5 Slot Machines

History of South Dakota Gambling

South Dakota casinos historyBack-room card games were the first forms of betting in South Dakota. The most famous ones were in Deadwood, a city known for its sinful activity among miners in the late 19th century. The most famous gambler from those parts is “Wild Bill” Hickok. He was shot at a poker table in Deadwood by Jack McCall. Local legend says Hickok was holding two black aces, two black eights and the nine of diamonds. If you make that hand at Saloon #10 in Deadwood these days you will hit 25% of the bad beat jackpot.

Racing has roots that date back to the early 20th century. It became widely accepted as legal in the 1940’s. Greyhound and horse tracks were legal in the early years. With no operating tracks, greyhound racing regulations expired in December 2011. There are two horse tracks that operate for two weekends in the spring.

The South Dakota Lottery was approved by voters through a constitutional amendment on November 4, 1986. The first tickets were sold in September of the following year. A video lottery passed the state legislature in 1989. The video lottery permits machines that spread slots, keno and poker games. The only requirement for a video license is an open pour alcohol permit.

The South Dakota Video Lottery survived an adverse Supreme Court ruling and three statewide referendums. The state takes half of all money held by the games.

Opponents sued the state lottery, asserting that video gaming outside of Deadwood and reservations violated the state constitution. The South Dakota Supreme Court sided with those challenging the law and forced the shuttering of video lottery in the state in 1994. A constitutional amendment was created the following year and the games returned to taverns and gas stations. Two ballot initiatives attempted to repeal this constitutional amendment. Both failed. The last was in 2006.

Deadwood Casinos Opened

South Dakota casinos in Deadwood opened on December 1, 1989. It was the third place casinos were legalized in the U.S. after Nevada and Atlantic City. Bet limits started at $5 with the only games legal being slots, video poker, blackjack and live poker. The bet limits were raised to $100 in 2000 and $1,000 in 2013. Craps and roulette were approved by voters in November 2014. The new games launched on July 1, 2015.

The legalization of casinos in Deadwood permitted the same type of South Dakota gambling on reservations. These opened slowly in the 1990’s. There are nine tribal casinos operating today.

South Dakota Casinos & Gambling FAQ

What is the current status of legalized online South Dakota gambling?

The only form of legalized gambling permitted in South Dakota is off track betting. Daily fantasy sports sites claim to operate within the state’s skill gaming laws. The attorney general and gaming commission have declined to issue an opinion on the games without action from the state legislature. Online gambling not specifically permitted under state law is illegal.

What is the risk of online gambling in South Dakota?

Players have little legal risk gambling online in South Dakota. No player has ever been charged and no site has received an indictment that originated in the state. The main concern for players is getting paid by the site, not any potential legal action.

How widespread is South Dakota gambling?

There are more than 1,400 gaming establishments in South Dakota. This includes casinos, video lottery, and racing operations. There are few states with more places to gamble, especially per capita.

Where is the best place to gamble in South Dakota?

Deadwood is home to more than a dozen casinos. Some are closer to resorts while others are not much more than a slot parlor. The competition in Deadwood creates an environment where casinos there spread better games than tribal casinos that have a geographical monopoly. The games are better in casinos than the video lottery where the maximum return by law is just 92 percent.

What are the most popular types of South Dakota gambling?

The South Dakota video lottery generates nearly $200 million a year. This money is divided between the machine owners and the state in a 50/50 split. Deadwood gaming revenue hovers around $110 million in annual revenue. The state sells about $100 million per year in lottery tickets.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller Online Casino and Game Expert

I've been writing for OUSC about the casino industry for more than 15 years. I love playing games, including poker, Scrabble, and trivia games. I enjoy researching and writing new online casino reviews and sharing game strategies.

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