Deadwood casinos end 2013 on a sour note - KOTA Territory News

Deadwood casinos end 2013 on a sour note

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House Joint Resolution 1001, if approved by the South Dakota Legislature and voters, would add roulette, craps and keno to Deadwood's casinos.  (MGN Online graphic) House Joint Resolution 1001, if approved by the South Dakota Legislature and voters, would add roulette, craps and keno to Deadwood's casinos. (MGN Online graphic)
Penny slots once again provided the bulk of Deadwood's gaming revenue, $4.5 million of $6.7 million total.  (KOTA TV News video capture) Penny slots once again provided the bulk of Deadwood's gaming revenue, $4.5 million of $6.7 million total. (KOTA TV News video capture)

by Jack Siebold, MyTown editor

It wasn't a merry Christmas for Deadwood's gaming industry as it continued the year-long dive in revenue.

Data just released by the South Dakota Gaming Commission shows that Deadwood's revenue in December was down 14.34 percent when compared with December 2012.  For the year, the industry drop was 4 percent.

"Like most South Dakota businesses, Deadwood was impacted in December by bitter cold weather and winter storms," Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, said. "This poor December performance solidified 2013 gaming numbers downward spiral of 4 percent."

Gamblers just aren't wagering as much as they used to.  Last month, they anted up a paltry $74,572,188.  That is 9.33 percent less than the $82,249,429 wagered in December 2012.  Table games were off a staggering 40 percent.  Slot machine revenue, which is the bulk of the industry's take, was down 10.24 percent last month.

This is the second year in three that Deadwood's gaming industry took a dive.  In 2011, following the statewide smoking ban, revenue was down 4.98 percent.  After rebounding last year (up 6.43 percent), the total handle again dropped ... 4.62 percent.  The $1,115,844,064 wagered in 2013 was $50 million short of the 2012 year-end tally.

One thing Deadwood's gaming industry is betting on to entice gamblers are new games.  A resolution filed in the state legislature, House Joint Resolution 1001, would add roulette, craps and keno to Deadwood.  It is scheduled for its first hearing Wednesday in the House State Affairs Committee.  Since it involves changing the state constitutions, voters will have the final say in upping the ante in Deadwood.

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