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Deadwood Gamblers Wager $88 Million In May After April Shutdown

Josh Haiar

Gamblers at casinos in Deadwood wagered more than $88 million last month. The new numbers come from the state Revenue Department. 

That was a rebound from April, when the city closed casinos because of the pandemic and no money came in.  

Gambling wagers are down 24 percent so far this year compared to 2019.  

Mike Rodman is executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. He said a $2,000 state fee on every gaming machine is due July 1. 

“Given all the other financial impacts, operators are more than likely not going to be able to relicense all of those devices,” Rodman said. 

Rodman said state regulators are allowing casinos to shut machines down until they can pay the fee.  

He said facilities are taking their own precautions against the spread of COVID-19. Rodman said they’re following the governor’s guidelines. Casinos associated with hotel franchises are also following corporate guidelines. 

Seth supervises SDPB's beat reporters and newscast team. He works at SDPB's Black Hills Studio in Rapid City.