December Deadwood Casino Handle Rebounded, 2.35% down YTD

Casinos in Deadwood, South Dakota, posted strong December performance to complete a calendar year that would be remembered with shutdowns and restrictions on operation.

Strong December Completed 2020

According to the financial report for the last month of 2020 released by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, the gambling industry in the Black Hills resort and gaming town generated in December 20.34% more in revenues compared to the prior year.

The lion’s share of the increase came from slot machines which generated just above $93 million, 21.72% higher than the handle casinos posted in December 2019, while table games accounted for a marginal 2.48% increase, to just above $6 million.

In total, players in the South Dakota gaming town generated just under $100 million in December to complete the calendar 2020 on the rise and retain after subtracting payouts and freeplay giveaways an adjusted gross revenue of more than $8.2 million, while paying $744,548 to the state in taxes.

The last month rebound managed to offset almost the entire negative impact from the coronavirus outbreak which caused gaming for the entire year to decrease. The calendar year-to-date handle of $1.12 billion represented a decrease of only 2.35% compared to the handle in 2019, a result which brought excitement in the industry.

Casino Industry Excited from the Rebound

Mike Rodman, the president of the Deadwood Gaming Association, expressed his delight at the result which showed the industry managed somehow to bounce back from the adversity and finish the year strongly, nearly offsetting the negative impact from the coronavirus outbreak.

Rodman, who reiterated Deadwood’s casinos serious approach to the threats posed by the virus outbreak by closing down by the end of March and then following up with strict protocols enforcement when re-opened in May, praised the role Gov. Kristi Noem played for the fast rebound of the gaming industry.

“We applaud Gov. Noem’s pro-business approach during the pandemic and her commitment of additional tourism marketing dollars that made these numbers possible.”

Mike Rodman, President, Deadwood Gaming Association

The role of gaming in South Dakota was once again highlighted in the November Referendum, in which voters in the state approved by 58% the proposed constitutional amendment to allow legal sportsbooks as early as next year, and also pave the way for the state’s Native American tribes to open sports betting facilities at their gaming venues.

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