South Dakota

Home to the most presidential mountain in the United States, South Dakota is known to many as the Mount Rushmore State. Here, you have the 17th largest state in terms of land mass with just over 77,000 square miles. One nice thing about this state is that the land area severely outweighs the population as it is the 46th most populated state with less than one million residents.

The frontier living, the historic landmarks and the open landscapes make it a pretty modern state, and being one of the least populated states doesn’t mean we can’t find gambling there. It’s quite the opposite actually, as there are several forms of legal gambling in South Dakota, reaching an approximate annual gambling revenue superior to half a billion dollars and generating close to $20 million taxes.

Gambling History

The state has a lengthy and complex gambling law, a long list of regulations that support a modern gaming industry, but also tourist gambling across the borders. South Dakota casinos are very popular to the citizens of neighboring states that don’t have legal gambling options.

In 1933 pari-mutuel wagering was legalized, being the first form of gambling to be authorized in the state. Currently there are dozens of OTB betting sites and tracks across the state, even if these tracks are operating full-time just in the summer, mostly July and August.

1986 brought the legalization of lottery, game that has grown to be a big revenue generator for South Dakota. In terms of casinos, the first tribal gaming compacts were signed in 1993, and today, both tribal and commercial casinos are legal in South Dakota, being a major touristic attraction throughout the state, and particularly in Deadwood, a city that has become a casino hotspot.

South Dakota is one of the most liberal states in the country in what concerns gambling laws, which also include charitable gaming. To host these games the organization have to qualify as charitable and this will enable it to operate lottery and bingo to raise funds.

In recent years small stakes games have also been legalized, which means that slots and card games can now be played in bars and clubs. The limit for the establishment is $50 wager for any player, but a poker tournament in the local club certainly brings a special appeal to it.

Types of Gambling Found in South Dakota

Despite its smaller size in land, the state has more than 45 land-based casinos, which is much more than many of the other states. Some of the choices of land-based casinos within South Dakota are; Royal River Casino, Tin Lizzie Gaming, Rosebud Casino, Four Aces, Gold Dust Gaming, Grand River Casino, Deadwood Dicks, Celebrity Casino and many others.

The existing legislation allows live poker and other poker games, slots and blackjack, but bingo, keno, craps roulette or video poker are not permitted in casinos. The casinos’ welcome players who are 21 and over.

These casinos are operated by the Native American Tribes within the state, but there are commercial casinos too. There is also a lottery which allows players who are 18 and over to partake in gaming like Mega Millions, Scratch Tickets, Hot Lotto and Powerball to name a few. In addition to a state lottery and land-based casinos, players will have pari-mutuel betting for race tracks to make bets on horse racing at 18 and over.

Curiosity: South Dakota has a definition for gambling which includes accepting money or valuables and making payments depending on the results of races or games, but then the state’s criminal code goes ahead and lists dozens of exceptions.

An example of the South Dakota gambling law is the online gambling. The law Chapter 22-25A makes illegal for casino employees and operators to gamble online, which means that anyone not working there might be safe doing it, even if this isn’t explicitly mentioned.

The fact that there isn’t a single charge on people gambling online in South Dakota means that it’s not dangerous to do it, even if online gambling is not legalized in the state.