South Dakota Online Gambling

Gambling Information and Online Casino Listings

South Dakota does not pay much attention to online gambling operations. Successful iGaming on a local market is something that does not have a bright future. After all, SD has a small population and it is also in a region which isn’t too fond of online wagers. These aspects make SD far from being an ideal candidate for a flourishing internet gambling industry. But there is a number of gamblers used to offshore betting, and they shouldn’t be ignored.

Fortunately, South Dakotans have a choice of sites managed by offshore gaming companies licensed in jurisdictions like Costa Rica, Curacao and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, providing them with stable gaming environments, reasonable bonus requirements and decent game variety.

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History of Gambling in South Dakota

The gambling scene in early South Dakota centers on the town of Deadwood. Colonel George Armstrong Custer's expedition discovered gold in the Black Hills in 1874 which triggered the Black Hills Gold Rush. Suddenly, Deadwood was conceived as a prospecting town and an entertainment center during this period. Deadwood was home to opium dens, brothels and smoke-filled saloons. One of the colorful characters found in Deadwood at the time was "Wild Bill" Hickok, who was shot dead during a poker game. In recent history, Deadwood was reborn as a gambling-themed tourist destination. New, modern casinos started appearing in the late 80s.

At this point, Deadwood was heading towards becoming a ghost town. Luckily, the former mining town was saved by a statewide constitutional amendment that allowed casino gambling, both on reservations and non-tribal land. Before that, in the 50s and 60s, the state battled illegal gambling and approved the lottery.

Video lottery terminals were introduced into the scene in 1989. Once approved by the state legislature, they were installed in bars and gas stations throughout the Mount Rushmore State. There were several attempts to outlaw video lottery machines since then, but voters would always reject them. Deadwood's commercial gambling industry is a priority for South Dakota, and although some interest was expressed in exploring online gaming, state’s legislators aren't anywhere close to changing the generally unfavorable view towards iGaming.


Land based casinos

The Mount Rushmore State benefits from both tribal and commercial gambling venues, also bars and clubs with slots and poker tournaments and dozens of racetracks and off-track betting sites. If we use the term ‘casino’ as loosely as most South Dakotans, then we can say that there are around 1,400 casinos in the state. If we discard video lottery establishments with a max number of 10 games on their premises, then it’s safe to say that there are over a dozen major casino venues in SD.

Betting on greyhounds and horses started in the early 40s, but dog racing is no longer available. Those who want to bet on the horses can do it at two operational racetrack facilities - the Stanley County Fairgrounds in Ft. Pierre and the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen. July and August count as tourist season for the race enthusiasts, and the tracks only operate full-time in the summer.

As expected, the South Dakota gambling hotspot is Deadwood. After the mining bust, the town faced a huge decline and the casino industry saved it and its historic legacy. When the first casinos opened their doors in the old mining town, players were able to enjoy slots, video poker, card games and live poker. Back then, the bet limit was $5. In 2000, it was raised to $100. Prosperity came back into Deadwood, and bet limits were increased again in 2012, to $1,000. Some of the notable Deadwood casinos are Gold Dust Casino & Hotel, Hickok’s Hotel and Gaming, First Gold Hotel & Gaming and Mineral Palace Hotel and Gaming. These venues offer from 100 to over 200 slots and a variety of video poker, video table games, live poker and blackjack games. You can also play Four Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Three Card Poker, craps, roulette and keno at most Deadwood locations.

Tribal casinos are more remote. There are located in Flandreau, Mission, Sisseton, Watertown, Mobridge, Lower Brule, Martin, Pine Ridge, and Pickstown, offering mostly slots and video poker, with a few exceptions of poker rooms. Dakota Sioux Casino in Watertown is the biggest with over 450 slots, blackjack and poker options, and a generous Players Club.


Online casinos

Apart from vastly popular Bovada, Slotocash Casino and Slots.LV, bettors from the Mount Rushmore State can place bets at Slots Capital, Red Stag and Casino Max.


Regulation and legality of online gambling

South Dakota hasn’t made any serious effort to legalize internet gaming yet. The existing South Dakota Constitution bans internet gambling operators from accepting bets from local punters. Player penalties are not mentioned, but the gambling criminal code outlaws accepting any type of bet. Any potential online casino sites of the future won’t have any support from commercial casinos, beyond doubt. While specific politicians offer encouraging comments, internet gaming has no serious support from them. The fact that not one of the neighboring states has legalized online gambling activities does not help either. In the case of South Dakota, the scales keep tipping towards postponing the legalization of online gambling, and it could be years before any future legislative steps are taken.


Fun Facts about South Dakota

  • The most famous South Dakota landmark is Mount Rushmore National Memorial featuring the faces of four U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. It receives more than 2 million visitors per year. However, its popularity may be jeopardized by the yet-unfinished mountain sculpture of Lakota warrior Chief Crazy Horse. The sculpture has been in the works since 1948 and should be 563 feet high and 641 feet long once finished.


  • The Revenant (2015), a praised film starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass, a real-life 19th-century frontiersman is set in South Dakota wilderness.


  • Every year, in Clark, the South Dakota Potato Day is celebrated, complete with mashed potato wrestling, potato decorating and potato chip and dip judging events.
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