As Deadwood sports betting nears one-year anniversary, NFL is 'king'
The first sports bets were placed in Deadwood almost a year ago on Sept. 9, 2021, and one of those was $100 on the Denver Broncos to win the 2022 Super Bowl.
That $100 bet didn't pay off, but Deadwood's foray into sports betting has, with $6.1 million in bets being placed through June 2022, according to data from the Department of Revenue.
Initially there were four casinos that offered sports betting in the historic Black Hills town. Since then, there have been two additional openings, said Mike Rodman, executive director for the Deadwood Gaming Association.
Sports betting became legal during the 2020 election, through South Dakota Constitutional Amendment B, which amended the state's constitution to authorize sports betting within the city limits of Deadwood. That amendment passed with a 58% vote.
Sportsbooks had to miss the start of the NFL season last year, so Rodman expects this year to be even better.
"We weren't up and running through the (start) of the football season (last year), so that's why we're really excited about what's going to happen this fall," Rodman said. "We certainly think that it'll be bigger than last year because we were just getting started. Not everybody was aware that we even had sports wagering, so we think that we'll have a strong, strong season this fall."
Earlier: First sports bets have been wagered at Deadwood casinos
Football is 'king,' March Madness garners attention
With preseason games already being played, sportsbooks are gearing up for the NFL season — the biggest driver of sports betting by far.
"Football is king. It is 100% our top sports for sports betting," said Tyler Nold, casino manager at Deadwood Mountain Grand. "... It's been a fun ride."
Nold also pointed to the fact that he's seeing more visitors plan their trips around the NFL season.
"People would stay Friday and Saturday and leave Sunday, but during the football season, now, they're staying Friday, Saturday and Sunday and leaving Monday," Nold said. "... We're kind of getting an extra Saturday in revenue out of the whole property because people are hanging around, they're sticking around and making the weekend one day longer than they normally would."
Despite launching after the NFL season, there have been more than $2.1 million bets on the sport – with the highest number coming in January, which was just shy of $500,000.
Along with the NFL, there has been interest in the college football season. Last season, there were more than $900,000 bets placed.
In March, lodges in South Dakota took in $975,000 worth of bets – more than $845,000 of those bets were placed on NCAA men's basketball, according to data from the South Dakota Department of Revenue.
"March Madness was very good for us," Rodman said.
In the summer, as some of the top sports were in the offseason, Nold said he noticed some tourists stopping in at the lodge to place money on MLB games. That, in part, has to do with the uncertainty that comes with a long baseball season.
"Summer was fine. A lot of tourists came through and maybe stopped and put 5, 10, 20 bucks on their favorite baseball team, but it's just not like football where people are kind of trying to make money because they don't know what's going to happen."
Bettors in South Dakota are able to place bets in-person at ticket windows or kiosks in Deadwood. There are options for moneyline, props, futures, parlays and round-robin bets.
In Deadwood, gamblers can place bets at Cadillac Jack's Gaming Resort, Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, Dale's Sportsbook at Deadwood Mountain Grand, Gold Dust Casino, BetKota at The Midnight Star, Mustang Sally's and The Lodge at Deadwood, according to deadwood.com. The Lodge at Deadwood is the latest sportsbook to open in Deadwood, Rodman said.
More: Watertown's Dakota Sioux Casino opens sports betting
"We think that we will have just a nice complement of sports lounges available for the football enthusiast this fall," Rodman said.
Earlier this year, in late April, Dakota Sioux Casino and Hotel in Watertown added sports betting through the Dakota Nation Sports Book.
South Dakota does not allow online sports betting
Despite the growth, South Dakota hasn't added online betting yet, similar to Mississippi. Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina are also among the states that allow only in-person betting.
In the 2022 Legislative session, Senate Joint Resolution 502 was referred to the House State Affairs. That proposed and submitted to voters at the next general election an amendment that would've provided wagering for sporting events via mobile or electronic platforms.
That failed after the House State Affairs deferred the resolution to the 41st day.
Neighboring states, like Iowa and Wyoming, have allowed online sports betting. But the Deadwood Gaming Association hasn't taken a stance on it yet, Rodman said.
More: Should South Dakota allow online betting?
"The DGA has not taken a position on that. There are two schools of thought: one is that there are operators who like that you have to come to Deadwood because the auxiliary revenue sources that come from hotel stays and food and beverage revenues and additional gaming," Rodman said. "And then there's others who look at it if were state-wide mobile that there (would be) an increase in the sports wagering revenue."
According to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, through June 2022, there has been more than $507,000 in taxable adjusted gross revenues.
Grand Falls' sports betting has generated $5.4 million in revenue
In Iowa, Grand Falls opened online sports betting with an in-house sportsbook in 2019. Since then, they have generated more than $5.4 million in revenue, according to PlayIowa.com. There has been more than $58 million placed in bets through Grand Falls.
In July, Grand Falls Casino, which uses Betfred Sports, generated more than $2.2 million in sports wagering handles, with $1.18 million in payouts, according to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.
Since allowing sports betting, Iowa has received more than $4 billion in bet handles, with more than $17 million going to taxes.
Sports betting by month in Deadwood
June 2022: $301,217
April 2022: $368,516
March 2022: $975,347
February 2022: $685,631
January 2022: $835,251
December 2021: $675,311
November 2021: $717,774
October 2021: $815,036
September 2021: $443,365
Statistical wins by month in Deadwood
June 2022: $27,869
May 2022: $25,102
April 2022: -$13,734
March 2022: $32,388
February 2022: $71,807
January 2022: $82,291
December 2021: $10,305
November 2021: $74,918
October 2021: $98,037
September 2021: $71,319
Information provided by the South Dakota Department of Revenue
This article originally appeared on Sioux Falls Argus Leader: Deadwood Gaming Association sports gambling grows as NFL season nears