Commercial casinos in Deadwood, South Dakota, as well as tribal enterprises in the state, had hoped that the addition of keno, craps and roulette to their stalwart offering of slots and blackjack would invigorate the gambling economy in the state. The games were launched July 1, 2015. Under the Tribal/State compact, as commercial casinos were allowed to offer the games, so were tribal casinos.

Deadwood gambling revenues for December 2016 were down over December 2015 by 25 percent and dropped overall about five-percent for the entire year. In December 2015, the first December the games were live, revenues from the four commercial casinos offering craps were $329,548.00 with a payout percentage of 89.58%, but December 2016 only saw $265,133.50 with an average payout of 93.46%. The December 2015 “statistical win” was $34,324.50 while last month only saw the casinos take $17,348.50 – roughly half.

Handle for all table games was down 5.22% from December 2015. Free play, including slots, dropped for the year on overall smaller numbers.

The Black Hills Pioneer quotes the Deadwood Gaming Association’s executive director, Mike Rodman as saying that Deadwood’s 2016 adjusted gross revenues were the lowest since 2007 at just over $99 million.

“Despite good weather conditions for our winter sports enthusiasts in December, we were unable to capitalize on that market,” Rodman said. The December numbers were “an alarming end to a disappointing year.”

According to the Capital Journal, Ken Gienger, general manager at Celebrity Hotel and Casino said, “This is a reflection of people being conservative with their extra income and not exceeding their budget,” said Gienger. “I am looking forward to 2017, and I know Deadwood will use the experiences we all learn during 2016 to help us make 2017 better.”

Tribal gaming numbers were not available. Those interested in all the nuts and bolts of the South Dakota Commission on Gaming’s monthly reports, please visit the Department of Revenue’s Statistics pages.

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