Video Lottery Revenue Increases Over The Past Two Years
Dozens of florescent machines line the walls of?a?dark room. At 11:30 in the morning,?a few customers are already trying their luck at?Zort’s?Prime Time Casino in North Sioux City.?
Owner Jim?Zortman said the facility?closed for ten weeks during the pandemic, but the business roared back to full capacity when restrictions faded.?
“A lot of the stimulus checks and those kinds of things actually propagated or enhanced the business,” Zortman said. “We had a lot more people in, new faces, new players, those kind of things and they kept coming in or whatever some of them they obviously developed and like our location.”??
Zortman?says he’s?having a hard time finding the staff?to keep up with?business.??
Clark?Hepper is the?deputy?executive?director?of the South Dakota?Lottery. He said the pandemic?initially caused a drop in sales.??
“The number of entertainment options were very limited, and you were starting to see even some of those local bars starting to open up and our video lottery establishments were a beneficiary of some of that opening up,”?Hepper said.
Lottery operators are also making improvements.?Wade LaRoche?is the director of marketing for the South Dakota Lottery.??
“Operators are actually choosing to utilize newer machines and those have newer graphics and kind of extended play and just more features for our players,”?he said.
South Dakota video lottery machines?have?netted about $275?million so?far this?fiscal year.?That’s 30?percent higher than the same period last year.??
The?lottery department says video lottery will contribute about $150 million in tax revenues to the state?in 2021.?