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New sports wagering policies now in place

Deadwood, SD

Sports wagering has been a hit for South Dakota casinos. As profits rise, the standards governing the business continue to evolve.

Sports betting was legalized in the state following the success of a ballot measure in 2020. New American Gaming Association code has been released that could effect casinos across the state.

Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, said general casino revenues are still going up.

“On top of a record 2021, 2022 came in just almost identical to that," Rodman said. "The first couple months of 2023 are up slightly – up one percent. We are just very, very pleased with how revenues are doing in Deadwood.”

Casinos are reporting a rush from sports wagering though.

“We did $900,000 worth of handle in January, around the Super Bowl, and last month was $717,000 in handle with the largest betting being on men’s NCAA basketball," Rodman said. "Nine percent in January up, almost five percent in February up, so sports wagering continues to grow in Deadwood.”

This week, the American Gaming Association released revised standards in the Responsible Marketing Code for Sports Wagering. Rodman said Deadwood casinos will comply.

“The DGA of course encourages all of the Deadwood gaming industry to adhere to the AGA’s codes," Rodman said. "So, we’re sending that out today and we’re certainly hopeful that all of Deadwood participates in that code.”

Among other standards, the updated AGA codes now ban use of “risk-free” in advertising, prohibit college partnerships to promote sports betting, and change all references to the “legal age of wagering” to 21 and up.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture