South Dakota is famous in the world of gambling for its No. 10 Saloon and old-west mining town of Deadwood. Adored by tourists, Deadwood is where the shooting death of “Wild Bill” took place during a card game gone south. The Mount Rushmore State was third in line to legalize casino gambling, where “casino” is loosely defined. If you include gas stations and barrooms with video lottery terminals, then South Dakota is home to over 1,400 of them. Needless to say, if you like to gamble then you’ll be right at home in South Dakota.
South Dakota Legal Gambling History
Horse racing became regulated in the 1940s. Today the state has two tracks, Stanley County Fairgrounds, and Brown County Fairgrounds. Off-track betting is legal at licensed establishments.
In 1987 the state passed a charitable gaming bill that allowed for bingo and raffles to be played. This bill only included non-profit organizations hosting for charity purposes. In 2010, the charitable gaming laws expanded to commercially owned establishments, allowing them to offer bingo and other similar games for profit.
Also in 1987, the first state lottery drawing in South Dakota took place. In 1989, the state welcomed video lottery terminals (VLTs) which are casino-style gaming machines labeled “lottery terminals” because the state lottery oversees them. Licensed establishments such as barrooms are authorized to offer up to 10 VLT’s. The machines have a maximum bet of $2 and maximum payouts of $1000. VLTs don’t pay out real money. Rather, they print receipts that must be taken to a cashier.
Again, in 1989, a law was passed for the historic town of Deadwood to start offering casino gaming, though, with bets capped at $5. This was done in an attempt to save the town rich in history from turning ghost. The casinos in Deadwood are all state-run.
Two years after the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, in 1990, tribal compacts were entered into with the state. This paved the way for 9 tribal casinos to open beginning in 1993.
In 2000, the capped bets at casinos were increased to $100. This happened again in 2012 when the maximum bets were set to $1000.
South Dakota Gambling Legal Status
South Dakota is home to a handful of state-operated casinos in the historic town of Deadwood and 9 tribal casinos which all offer slots, blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker.
Online gambling is illegal, with state law specifically outlining it as such. Social gambling is illegal as well. Home poker games are not allowed in South Dakota.
For those looking to wager on the races, there are 4 establishments in the state where you can bet on out of state simulcast races.
South Dakota has a state lottery which includes scratch-offs, Powerball, and Mega Millions. The state also has Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) which offer video poker, keno, and bingo.
Bingo and charitable gaming are legal in South Dakota and daily fantasy sports are “believed to be legal”.
Online gambling is illegal in South Dakota.
The age to gamble at casinos in South Dakota is 21 years of age and older. South Dakota does allow for accompanied minors to enter the casino. Bingo, lottery, and track betting are all 18 years and up.
South Dakota Land-Based Casinos
Depending on who you ask, South Dakota is home to any number of casinos. If you ask the state, it’s home to over 1,400 of them. This is because what defines “casino” in South Dakota is loose. Any establishment that houses Video Lottery Terminals is considered to be one. South Dakota has 9 tribal casinos and a bunch of state-owned operations in the historic town of Deadwood.
Because Deadwood is secluded and a bit of a drive from anywhere, it’s not as popular with the locals as it is with tourists, also because of its proximity to Mt. Rushmore. More importantly, Deadwood is the location where “Wild Bill” was shot over a card game gone wrong at the No. 10 saloon, where you can still play cards today.
All of the casinos in Deadwood and tribal casinos are authorized to offer slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps.
South Dakota Legal Daily Fantasy Sports and Sports Betting
South Dakota hasn’t legalized sports betting yet. There is a push to get it on the ballot for 2020 to let the people decide.
Daily fantasy sports, on the other hand, are unclear. While operating in the state and believed to be legal, the state’s attorney general declined to comment on it without further legislative investigation.
South Dakota Legal Gambling FAQ’s
What forms of gambling are legal in the state of South Dakota?
The following types of gambling are legal in South Dakota:
- Slots, poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps are legal at Deadwood Casinos and tribal casinos.
- Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) serve poker, keno, and bingo.
- Track betting and off-track betting.
- State lottery including scratch-offs, Powerball, and Mega Millions.
- Daily fantasy sports.