Hero Image


Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions About Deadwood Gaming

What governmental entities across the state benefit from taxes collected on gaming?
In the last fiscal year, casino’s contributed over $15,929,000 in gaming tax revenue for historic preservation, tourism promotion, Lawrence County and its municipalities and schools, the State of South Dakota’s general fund and other governmental entities. An annual report detailing the breakdown of these distributions is available HERE.

How did gaming preserve Deadwood’s history and history across the state of South Dakota?
The funds collected from taxes on gaming allowed for the formation of Deadwood Historic Preservation’s programs that include grants, loans and dedicated funds for large-scale restoration projects. Tax revenue is used to help fund non-profit historic attractions and educational opportunities, promote historical and cultural tourism and preserve historic buildings (both commercial and residential).

These funds don’t benefit only the town of Deadwood. Since 2002 the Deadwood Historic Preservation Commission has helped promote the preservation and interpretation of historic sites, buildings, and properties throughout the state of SD with the Outside-of-Deadwood Grant program. The program, which awards up to $150,000 each year, stimulates quality restoration, protection, and interpretation of buildings, sites, and properties that contribute to an understanding of Deadwood’s unique history. This total exceeds $4.5 million dollars to date. Additionally, taxes on Deadwood gaming provides funding for the South Dakota State Historical Society.

How was gaming legalized in Deadwood?
“Deadwood – You Bet” was a movement created by concerned community members in the mid-1980s in an effort to save Deadwood’s history. Preservation is not inexpensive. They needed a dedicated funding source. Committee members put in 20,000 volunteer hours over five years to gather support and signatures. Deadwood’s joint gaming and historic preservation venture was on the 1988 ballot and passed with 65% of the state’s population in favor of the required constitutional amendment. Its passage and implementation in 1989 made Deadwood the third legal gaming destination in the United States (after Nevada and Atlantic City). Deadwood’s celebrated its 30th anniversary of gaming at high noon on November 1, 2019.

What other changes have been made to gaming in SD since it was legalized in 1989?

  • On November 7th, 2000, South Dakota voters pass a bet limit hike from $5 to $100 in Deadwood’s Gaming Halls. The change makes Deadwood more completive with surrounding states.
  • In February 2012, the South Dakota Legislature approved a bet limit hike from $100 to $1,000. Governor Dennis Daugaard signed the change into law in March.
  • Amendment Q was on the November 4, 2014 ballot in South Dakota as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. The amendment allowing roulette, keno, and craps was approved by voters. The SD Legislature adopted the change to the state constitution in February 2015. Following that approval, the Deadwood Gaming Association hosted many weeks of extensive training for casinos (and employees) implementing one or more the new games. On July 1, 2015, craps, keno and roulette were available for the first time in Deadwood.

Sports Wagering in South Dakota


DEADWOOD, S.D. (01/03/2020) –We continue to be grateful to the voters of South Dakota for their support of Deadwood gaming and are happy to announce that we are supporting SB 44, with its amendments, which is Governor Noem’s enabling legislation on allowing legal sports wagers in Deadwood. Giving Deadwood the tools it needs to stay competitive nationally as an integrated gaming destination with legal sports wagering is greatly appreciated.

Deadwood will continue to uphold its promises to the people of South Dakota as great partners with South Dakota Departments of Tourism and Historic Preservation, along with our contributions to Deadwood Historic Preservation, Lawrence County, and area school districts and municipalities through gaming revenue taxes.

We look forward to working with the legislature to get Senate Bill 44 passed so Governor Noem can sign it and we can implement the voters’ wishes for legal sports wagering. Hopefully, we will be able to accept sports wagers by late summer.

Thank you again for your support of Deadwood.


Mike Rodman
Executive Director
Deadwood Gaming Association
PO Box 354
Deadwood, SD 57732

The Facts about Sports Wagering

  • Until May of 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal sports betting ban, Nevada was the only state that offered legal, regulated single-game betting on both college and professional sports. Now, each state and sovereign tribal nation has the opportunity to set their own policy and legalize and regulate sports betting.
  • Studies show South Dakotans prefer to place their sports wagers in a safe, regulated, legal environment, when allowed to do so.
  • Deadwood needs to continue to be a competitive gaming destination, providing the same gaming offerings as surrounding gaming jurisdictions.
  • Iowa began sports wagering in August of 2019, Montana began in March of 2020 and Colorado began in May of 2020.
  • According to the American Gaming Association, as of January 2021 sports wagering is legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia, and live sports wagering is happening in 20 of those states.
  • According to an Oxford Economics study, commissioned by the AGA, sports wagering in South Dakota will provide:
    • 22.1 million in additional gaming revenue
    • 2.2 million in additional gaming taxes
    • 152 direct gaming jobs with
    • 6.1 million in additional income

Additional Information about Sports Wagering

The Basics of Sports Betting

help desk software