The content previously listed on Deadwood Advantage has been moved to US Casino Advantage. The following is an archive of the blog posts that appeared on the site.
Posts are dated beginning August 2019 through September 2022. All the below blog posts were authored by John Mehaffey.
- Welcome to Deadwood Advantage (August 2019)
- Deadwood Mountain Grand and Saloon No. 10 to Suspend Operations (March 2020)
- Two More Deadwood Casinos Announce Temporary Closures (March 2020)
- Deadwood City Commission to Hold Emergency Meeting Wednesday (March 2020)
- Deadwood City Commission Orders Casinos to Close (March 2020)
- Hundreds of South Dakota Video Lottery Casinos Remain Open (March 2020)
- Deadwood Casinos Could Reopen on May 4 (April 2020)
- Deadwood Casinos Can Reopen on May 7 (May 2020)
- Deadwood Hotel Reopening Rates (May 2020)
- Deadwood Casinos Are Now Open (May 2020)
- More Deadwood Casinos Reopen (May 2020)
- Deadwood Gaming Down About 15 Percent in May (June 2020)
- Four Deadwood Casinos on Market (July 2020)
- Midnight Star Casino Reopens in Deadwood (July 2020)
- The Rise and Fall of Deadwood Poker (September 2020)
- South Dakota Sports Betting on Tuesday Ballot (October 2020)
- South Dakota Voters Approve Sports Betting (November 2020)
- Silverado Poker Room Reopens Today (January 2021)
- Deadwood Gaming Win Down 6.22% in 2020 (January 2021)
- Deadwood Gulch Sold, Reopening Plans Announced (January 2021)
- Deadwood Sports Betting Bill Passes State Senate (February 2021)
- Deadwood Sports Betting Signed Into Law (March 2021)
- MSPT Returns to Deadwood in May (March 2021)
- Deadwood Gulch Resort Reopens Hotel (June 2021)
- South Dakota Sports Betting Regulations Approved by Commission (July 2021)
- MSPT Returns to Deadwood in October (August 2021)
- Deadwood Sportsbooks Now Taking Bets (September 2021)
- Deadwood Needs Mobile Sports Betting to Compete (February 2022)
- Hope for South Dakota Mobile Sports Betting in 2022 Dies (February 2022)
- Betting March Madness Basketball Tournament in South Dakota (March 2022)
- MSPT Returns to Silverado Poker Room in Deadwood (March 2022)
- Deadwood Shootout MSPT October 2022 Information (September 2022)
Welcome to Deadwood Advantage
Originally published: August 31, 2019
Deadwood is one of my favorite tourist towns. I enjoy visiting there so much that I created this website.
There are dozens of casinos and hotels in Deadwood. These range from small, historical properties along Main Street to large-scale resorts on the outskirts of town. I cover all these casinos at Deadwood Advantage. The information includes the types of hotel rooms, restaurants and casino games that are available. I add my decades of gaming expertise to help you find the best value.
Things to do in Deadwood
Deadwood is best known for being a gambling destination. Players will find penny slots, reels, video poker, keno, blackjack, craps, Three Card Poker, Four Card Poker, Let it Ride, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, craps and roulette in town. The minimum bet for tables is generally $5. However, you may find games like Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em with $2 minimum bets. There are four live poker rooms in Deadwood.
In addition to gambling, there are several other activities, especially during the summer months. Mt Roosevelt is on the outskirts of town. It is one of the highest points in the Black Hills. Mt Roosevelt offers an observation tower.
Mt Moriah Cemetery is the final resting place for many of Deadwood’s original and most famous residents. These characters include Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane and Seth Bullock. The Sturgis Rally brings in Harley Davidson enthusiast during the first week of August. Many of the hundreds of thousands of guests visit or stay in Deadwood during the event.
Mt Rushmore is about 45 minutes from Deadwood. The Badlands is about 90 minutes away. During the winter months, there are two ski resorts and snowmobile trails.
How to get to Deadwood, South Dakota
Guests coming from a long distance may want to consider flying into Rapid City Regional Airport. It is about an hour from Deadwood. Direct flights are available from Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Mesa/Phoenix and Salt Lake City.
From Rapid City: Take Interstate 90 westbound to Sturgis. Get off at Lazelle Street, exit 30. Turn left on Alt US 14. This will take you to Deadwood.
From Wyoming: Take Interstate 90 eastbound to US 85, exit 17. Turn right onto US 85. This will take you to Deadwood.
From the south: Take US 385 north out of Nebraska. It ends in Deadwood. From southern Wyoming, follow US 85 to Deadwood.
From the north: Follow US 85 south from North Dakota. It will lead directly to Deadwood. It merges with Interstate 90 briefly in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Deadwood poker rooms
There are four poker rooms in Deadwood. Each has its own unique qualities. All rake 10% up to $5 and take 10% of tournament fees for the house.
Saloon No. 10
Saloon No. 10 is the oldest poker room in town. Its theme is old school saloon. The poker room resembles this. Games spread include Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo, Dealer’s Choice, and spread limit Texas Hold’em. Saloon No. 10 spreads two poker tables.
Silverado has five poker tables. It spreads Texas Hold’em and Omaha Hi/Lo with 2-20 limits. There are three tournaments a week. The South Dakota Poker Championship is held here.
The Lodge at Deadwood
There are five poker tables at The Lodge at Deadwood. The main game is spread limit Texas Hold’em. The limits here tend to be the highest for poker in Deadwood. There is a daily poker tournament.
The poker room at Cadillac Jack’s offers four poker tables. Spread Limit Texas Hold’em is the main game with limits of 2-10 up to 10-300. There is a tournament daily at 1pm.
Deadwood Mountain Grand and Saloon No. 10 to Suspend Operations
Originally published: March 21, 2020
The Deadwood Mountain Grand announced Friday that it will suspend its operations due to the coronavirus outbreak. Table games and two restaurants closed at 10pm on Friday, March 20. The slots, video poker and electronic table games will operate until 3am Sunday morning, March 22. The hotel will close after guests check out on Monday, March 23.
The Deadwood Mountain Grand is home to a hotel, concert venue and casino. It is currently for sale, as reported by the Rapid City Journal. The asking price is $27.5 million.
The Deadwood Mountain Grand was the first casino in town to announce a complete closure. However, Saloon No. 10 will close sooner. That casino already closed its poker room and table games earlier this week, leaving only its slots and bar open. It also canceled other special events at that time. The company announced on its Facebook page that it will suspend all operations at 9pm Saturday, March 21.
The only other announced closure in town is at Silverado. The poker room there closed earlier this week. The casinos and Silverado and its sister casino Franklin remain open.
The Lodge at Deadwood suspended promotions but kept the casino open, including its poker room. The poker room at Cadillac Jack’s is also open, leaving two of the four in town dealing cards amid the coronavirus pandemic that has closed nearly all other poker rooms in the country, many by government order.
Two More Deadwood Casinos Announce Temporary Closures
Originally posted: March 23, 2020
Two more Deadwood casinos announced temporary closures Sunday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Deadwood Gulch stated on its Facebook page that its casino went dark at 6am Sunday, March 22. The hotel checked out all guests that same morning. Its restaurants closed the night before.
Bullock Hotel, located on Main Street across from the Deadwood parking garage, is closing at 8am on Wednesday, March 25. The hotel will also close that morning. These casinos join Deadwood Mountain Grand, Saloon No. 10, VFW Post 5969 and Oyster Bay in suspending operations due to the public health crisis.
I confirmed today that there are still 17 casinos operating in Deadwood as of 3pm local time on March 23, including Bullock, which closes Wednesday. The American Gaming Association reports that there are only 20 commercial casinos still operating in the entire country.
Update 3/24: The Lodge at Deadwood suspended all operations, bringing the number of Deadwood casinos confirmed open at 16. Silverado-Franklin will also close. Franklin hotel remains open with a limited number of rooms.
Deadwood Casinos Still Open During Coronavirus Pandemic as of March 23
- 777 Casino
- Bullock Hotel (closes 8am March 25)
- Buffalo Bodega
- Cadillac Jack’s
- Deadwood Station
- First Gold (table games closed)
- Franklin Hotel (suspended casino operations 3/24, hotel open)
- Gold Country Inn
- Gold Dust
- Iron Horse Inn
- Mineral Palace (table games closed)
- Mustang Sally’s
- Silverado (suspended operations 3/24)
- Super 8
- The Lodge at Deadwood (suspended operations 3/24)
- Tin Lizzie
Deadwood Casinos with Live Poker and Table Games
The poker room and table games at Cadillac Jack’s are still open. Silverado, Franklin, Mineral Palace and Tin Lizzie still deal spread live table games.
Deadwood Mayor Asks Casinos to Close
Deadwood mayor Dave Ruth, Jr., called for all Deadwood casinos to close today. Ruth is a table games supervisor at Silverado, one of the Deadwood casinos still open. It was a request and not a mandate. Mayor Ruth also asked for all restaurants in Deadwood to stop permitting patrons to eat at the establishment and for all bars in town to close.
Other Deadwood Closures
Some Deadwood casinos that are still open have limited operations. This includes:
- Buffalo Bodega – Closed restaurant
- Cadillac Jack’s – Closed Flyt Steakhouse, other restaurants only open for take out
- First Gold – Closed table games and buffet
- Silverado – Closed poker room
- The Lodge – Closed table games, poker room and both restaurants
Deadwood Casinos Temporarily Closed as of 3pm Local Time on March 23
- Bullock Hotel (8am March 25)
- Deadwood Gulch
- Deadwood Mountain Grand
- Oyster Bay
- Saloon No. 10
- VFW Post 5969
Deadwood City Commission to Hold Emergency Meeting Wednesday
Originally posted: March 24, 2020
The Deadwood City Commission called an emergency meeting for noon on Wednesday, March 25. The agenda covers an order to close non-essential businesses in the gaming town. This proposal includes dine-in restaurants, casinos, bars, clubs and spa services. Curbside pickup, delivery and drive-thru windows would be permitted under Resolution 2020-10 and Ordinance 1310.
If approved, Resolution 2020-10 and Ordinance 1310 would go into effect at 5pm on March 25. Grocery stores, hardware stores, gas stations, drug stores, curbside, drive-thru and delivery services may continue to operate. The resolution would stay in place until Deadwood’s leaders amend it.
The Deadwood Gaming Association is working with the remaining open casinos in town on a voluntary closure by noon on March 25, according to a statement. Mayor David Ruth, Jr. requested all Deadwood casinos close in a March 23 press release.
The Lodge, Silverado and Franklin announced temporary casino closures today. The Franklin Hotel intends to keep some rooms open while the rest of its operations are suspended. There are still about a dozen gaming establishments open in Deadwood at this time, as well as some bars and restaurants.
The City Commission will broadcast the hearing on the Deadwood Chamber of Commerce Facebook page. All public comments are limited to three minutes. The Deadwood government website has digital alternatives to attending the meeting in-person for those that would like to watch it or have their voices heard.
Deadwood City Commission Orders Casinos to Close
Originally posted: March 25, 2020
The Deadwood City Commission voted unanimously to temporarily close casinos and all other non-essential businesses at an emergency hearing held at noon today. The suspension of operations must occur by 5pm today, March 25.
The order affects all casinos, dine-in restaurants, bars, spas, salons and other leisure businesses. Grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores, healthcare providers, drug stores and delivery services are permitted within the city limits. Non-essential businesses may bring items out to the curb for pickup from customers that placed orders. Drive-thru windows at restaurants may operate.
Casinos may keep hotels open. Those that are open may redeem slot tickets, tokens and chips.
Deadwood was the last commercial casino market still open in the country. About a dozen casinos were operating in the South Dakota Black Hills town this morning. Mayor David Ruth Jr. noted in the hearing that some casinos needed to be directed to close by the government so the casinos could collect business interruption insurance payments.
The order does not have an ending date. The Deadwood City Commission will revisit it as time passes and permit the reopening of casinos and other non-essential businesses when it is deemed appropriate.
South Dakota Video Lottery Still Operating in State
This order only affects the casinos located in Deadwood. Other gaming establishments in the state are still operating. This includes most video lottery casinos in jurisdictions that have not been ordered to temporarily close by local governments. Video lottery games include slots, video poker, blackjack, keno and bingo.
Hundreds of South Dakota Video Lottery Casinos Remain Open
Originally posted: March 26, 2020
Deadwood may have ordered all its casinos closed yesterday due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but there are still hundreds of places to gamble in South Dakota.
The South Dakota video lottery is still open in most of the state. The exceptions include the cities of Brookings, Deadwood, North Sioux City and the state’s largest city, Sioux Falls. Players looking for a video lottery casino in those areas can simply drive to the unincorporated parts of the county they live or drive to the next town over.
There are 1,350 licensed video lottery casinos in South Dakota, according to the state lottery. I estimate that just over half are still open in the state with about 5,000 of the nearly 9,000 licensed machines in operation. Players must be at least 21 years of age. Traditional lottery ticket sales are permitted to those at least 18 years of age.
The South Dakota video lottery offers slots like those found in Deadwood casinos. These includes video slots, video poker, keno, bingo and blackjack. The maximum bet is up to $2. The maximum win is $1,000, though slot bonus features can win more as each one is considered a separate game.
A South Dakota video lottery casino may host up to 10 machines at an address. Operators may combine multiple storefronts to increase the number of machines within one business. The games are permitted at truck stops and taverns.
The South Dakota video lottery is not known for quality payouts to players. Returns are between 80 and 92 percent. The state receives half of the gross gaming revenue in the form of taxes. The operator and route owner split the other half.
Georgia Video Lottery Also Operating
South Dakota is not the only state with a video lottery still operating. Georgia’s redemption machines, regulated by the state lottery, are still in business. These are skill-based slot machines with payouts in merchandise or gift cards.
South Dakota is the last open video lottery state that pays cash for winnings.
Deadwood Casinos Could Reopen on May 4
Originally posted: April 30, 2020
The Deadwood City Commission held a meeting on Monday. The agenda included the first reading of a bill that would reopen the city’s casinos and bars. Under South Dakota law, this is the first step in passing the local ordinance.
The next hearing is scheduled for May 4. At this hearing, the city commission could vote on the policy that would allow casinos and other Deadwood businesses to reopen. It would be effective immediately.
Slots-only casinos possible during first phase
The current version of the proposal would only permit slots. This includes video slots, reels, video poker, keno and electronic table games. Live table games and poker would not be permitted under the current language. However, that could change before the next hearing. It could also be amended later to add live games when the time is appropriate.
While Deadwood casinos players may miss out on table games during the first phase of the reopening process, there are many electronic options that will be available. Video blackjack is spread at The Lodge, Bullock Hotel, Gold Dust, Mustang Sally’s, Deadwood Mountain Grand, Hickok’s, Super 8, Iron Horse Inn and Deadwood Station.
The Lodge offers video craps and roulette. There is also a video roulette table at Silverado. Hickok’s has video Three Card Poker. Video craps is spread at Gold Dust. The minimum bet for most electronic table games in Deadwood is $1.
South Dakota Video Lottery still live in most areas
While Deadwood casinos remain closed for now, there are video gaming options available nearby. Most jurisdictions in the region have either already reopened or never closed. Taverns and gas stations in the area often spread video lottery machines. The games include video slots like Buffalo, keno, video poker and blackjack. These games are not live in Deadwood as all gaming devices are shut down until the closure order is lifted.
Deadwood Casinos Can Reopen on May 7
Originally posted: May 5, 2020
The Deadwood City Commission voted on Monday to permit the reopening of casinos and other businesses in the city. The order goes into effect at 8am on Thursday, May 7.
This decision makes Deadwood the first US commercial gaming market to reopen after the entire sector was ordered closed by state and local officials across the country in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Deadwood businesses must comply with guidelines published by the city that cover sanitation and social distancing.
The commission voted on March 26 to temporarily close the city’s casinos, bars and other nonessential businesses by 5pm. Several casinos, including Saloon No. 10, Bullock Hotel, Deadwood Gulch, The Lodge, Silverado-Franklin and Deadwood Mountain Grand, had already shuttered voluntarily when the order was created. Many others open until the end offered limited services.
Slots and table games permitted
The original proposal only permitted slots in the first phase. The Deadwood City Commission voted to allow its casinos to deal table games. Social distancing requirements, as suggested by health and gaming industry experts, must be followed. No specific number is given for the number of players at a table game.
Deadwood casinos announce reopening plans
Silverado-Franklin announced that it will open on Thursday. Its live table games will permit two players during the first phase. Silverado will not open its poker room at this time. It is unknown if any of the other three Deadwood poker rooms will open when casinos may.
Hickok’s, located next to Silverado, also stated it will open on May 7. Hickok’s is slots-only. This includes video blackjack and Three Card Poker towards the rear of the casino.
No other Deadwood casinos made a reopening announcement at press time. Deadwood Gulch announced on April 15 that it would not reopen again until at least May 16.
Other Deadwood casinos with reopening dates announced, according to Deadwood.com:
- Cadillac Jack’s
- Deadwood Mountain Grand
- Deadwood Station
- Gold Dust
- The Lodge
- Tin Lizzie
The Buffalo Bodega will open on March 8. Gold Country will welcome guests starting on May 13, while the Bullock Hotel will do so on May 15.
Live poker will be spread at grand reopening time
Cadillac Jack’s confirmed that it will open its poker room with the rest of the property. The seats will be limited. Based on its other guidance, it seems likely the tables will be five-handed. Silverado will not open its poker room at this time. Saloon No. 10’s reopening is still more than a week away. The Lodge has not yet announced its poker plans.
Getting to Deadwood could be difficult
There were reports by casino employees that Deadwood was attracting out-of-state tourism up until its last day open due to it being the last commercial gaming market with the lights on. This seems likely to repeat itself as Deadwood becomes the first gaming market open.
Tourists outside the region considering a visit should know that Deadwood has no airport. Flying into Rapid City is the only realistic option. It is about one hour from Deadwood by car. Visitors will need to rent one or pay a driver over $100 round trip.
The current collapse in air travel leaves few options in and out of Rapid City’s airport. It appears that there are only three flights per day out of the region. Two connect with Denver on United Airlines. The other is American Airlines out of Dallas. Flights are priced around $200 each way on any given day.
Deadwood Hotel Reopening Rates
Originally posted: April 6, 2020
Deadwood casinos are permitted to reopen at 8am on Thursday, May 7, after temporarily closing on March 26 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will become the first commercial casino market in the country to welcome gamblers back after the shutdowns that affected the entire industry.
Hotel rates are reasonable for the first weekend Deadwood will be open. We pulled prices directly from each casino’s website to give an idea of how much it will cost to celebrate opening weekend if you were considering it.
The first price is for Thursday. The second price is the weekend rate. It is for a base room and does not include tax or fees.
- Comfort Inn: $56/$89 (only video lottery games)
- Deadwood Mountain Grand: $80/$60
- DoubleTree at Cadillac Jack’s: $49/$58
- Franklin Hotel: $19/$89
- Gold Dust: $59/$59
- Hickok’s: $69/$119
- SpringHill Suites at Cadillac Jack’s: $49/$58
- Super 8: $52/$79
- The Lodge: $119/$119 (includes $25 free play and $25 dining credit)
- Tin Lizzie: $46/$67
- Tru at Cadillac Jack’s: $49/$58
Gold Dust, First Gold and Mineral Palace are not accepting reservations currently but are expected to do so shortly. Bullock Hotel does not open until next weekend. Deadwood Gulch will not reopen its hotel for at least another two weeks.
Slots, table games and live poker available
Slots will be live. This includes electronic table games. Casinos will work with social distancing requirements and apply it in the most sensible way. Some will remove seats or turn off machines, while others will leave all machines on but enforce a six-foot rule for guests that are not together.
Table games must leave six feet of space between players that are not together. This will leave most games with two or three seats.
There are four live poker rooms in Deadwood. Cadillac Jack’s plans on opening its poker room on Thursday with its other games. The casino will remove seats from each table and play shorthanded.
Silverado announced that it will not reopen its poker room with the rest of the property and plans to bring it back at a later date. The Lodge has not announced the status of its poker room at reopening. Saloon No. 10 will not open until May 21.
Deadwood Casinos Are Now Open
Originally posted: May 7, 2020
Many Deadwood casinos reopened this morning at 8am. It is the only commercial gaming market in the country to do so after the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily shuttered the entire industry. Casinos that chose to open offer slots, and a few brought live table games back. One casino reopened its poker room.
Main Street in Deadwood was quiet as a cold rain mixed with snow fell on the town. Casinos reported some customers returning to play. However, there were no crowds to create social distancing problems.
First casino poker room in country opens in Deadwood
Cadillac Jack’s reopened its poker room. Its first game was four-handed 3-50 spread limit Texas Hold’em. There is a single $3 blind to the left of the button. Four is the maximum number of seats Cadillac Jack’s permits at its poker tables during the first phase of operations.
The other three poker rooms in Deadwood – Saloon No.10, Silverado and The Lodge – have not yet reopened. Saloon No.10 announced that its casino will not welcome customers back until May 21. It will not offer table games or poker at that time. Silverado and The Lodge reopened casinos but not poker rooms.
Deadwood casinos that reopened May 7 with only slots
- Buffalo Bodega
- Comfort Inn (video lottery only)
- Deadwood Mountain Grand
- Deadwood Station
- Mineral Palace
- Super 8
- The Lodge
Deadwood casinos that reopened May 7 with slots and table games
- Cadillac Jack’s
- Gold Dust
- Tin Lizzie
Most hotels are now open in Deadwood. The rates are some of the lowest of the year. You can see a sample in a previous Deadwood Advantage article.
More Deadwood Casinos Reopen
Originally posed: May 22, 2020
Several Deadwood casinos that delayed reopening are now welcoming guests again.
Saloon No. 10 opened its doors on Thursday. It closed a few days before the casinos were ordered to do so by the city commission in March. The bars and restaurant are open. Slot machines are the only form of gambling that will be offered by Saloon No. 10 at this time. The table games and poker room will remain dark.
Bullock Hotel opened last week. It is home to slots, video poker and two electronic blackjack machines. It also has a few classic $1 coin slots.
First Gold came on line this week. Its table games are included in that. The casino noted that promo play that was impossible to claim in March will be released in phases. Celebrity Hotel and Gold Country also now welcome guests again.
Mineral Palace and Deadwood Mountain Grand opened table games this week. The Lodge at Deadwood open its table games pit but its poker room remains closed indefinitely.
There are two casinos that remain closed: Iron Horse Inn and Deadwood Gulch.
Cadillac Jack’s remains the only live poker room in Deadwood. It has six tables and limits players to four to a game. Silverado confirmed this week that its poker room will remain closed through at least the end of 2020.
Deadwood casinos were permitted to reopen two weeks ago on May 7. The South Dakota Department of Health reports that no COVID-19 cases have been diagnosed in Lawrence County since that time. Deadwood is the county seat of Lawrence.
Deadwood Gaming Down About 15 Percent in May
Originally posted: June 30, 2020
Deadwood was the first commercial gaming market to reopen after the COVID-19 closures. It is also the first to report revenues, which help show a reasonable recovery during its first 24 days back in business.
Deadwood gaming revenues in May were down 14.8 percent when compared to the previous year. However, the properties were closed for the first six days of last month. This make the comparison closer to normal when accounting for this.
In May 2019, Deadwood casinos won nearly $9.7 million. This equals an average of $322,756 per day. In May 2020, the total statistical win was nearly $8.2 million. This average is $340,656 per day.
The difference in averages per day between the years is about two percent in favor of 2020. However, the days closed in 2020 would typically be the slowest ones of the month as tourism in the Black Hills generally increases as May gets closer to Memorial Day Weekend.
Several factors affected May 2020 Deadwood gaming revenues
The shorter gaming month was not the only reason revenues were down. Prorated for the month, table games took a hit of 42 percent, compared to a loss of 13 percent for slots. Nearly 500 fewer slot machines were live in May 2020 when compared to the previous year.
There were 37 fewer table games in action in May 2020 when compared to 2019. One reason for this is that Deadwood Mountain Grand, The Lodge at Deadwood, Mineral Palace and Saloon No. 10 did not open with table games. Silverado did not open its craps table.
There were 17 fewer blackjack tables open in Deadwood last month compared to the previous year. House-banked poker games, like Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em, saw five fewer active tables. One roulette and two craps tables were also missing in action during May.
Live poker rake was down 74 percent. The number of open tables dropped from 21 to 6. Cadillac Jack’s is the only open poker room in Deadwood. Saloon No. 10, Silverado and The Lodge have not announced opening dates for poker room yet. A representative at Silverado confirmed that its poker room will not open in 2020.
Players either claimed fewer promos or ones were not offered at the same level in May 2020. The amount of free play and other prizes dropped about $550,000 over May 2019. Expired slot tickets were nearly double the previous year.
In a press release, the Deadwood Gaming Association estimates that $11.4 million in gaming revenues were lost during the closure. This does not include ancillary spending, like hotel and dining, which are predicted to also be down.
Deadwood casinos were required to close on March 25 through a city order. Some casinos closed a few days earlier. Doors were permitted to reopen on May 7.
All but two Deadwood casinos have returned. Iron Horse Inn is being remodeled. Deadwood Gulch is closed indefinitely. That property announced on its Facebook page that management will reevaluate the decision in November. The 13-acre property is listed for sale for $5.1 million.
Four Deadwood Casinos on Market
Originally posted: July 1, 2020
Four Deadwood casinos are for sale. Each has been on the market off and on for years. This is down from recent times when eight Deadwood casinos were on the market. Since then, Saloon No. 10 was taken off the market. Iron Horse Inn, Midnight Star and Celebrity Hotel changed hands.
Update: Deadwood Gulch sold in January 2021.
Deadwood Gulch is the largest casino property currently for sale in Deadwood. It closed in March before the Deadwood city order mandating a shutdown to combat COVID-19. It never reopened.
The owners of the property recently announced that it would remain closed through at least November. Meanwhile, it sits on the market for $5,100,000. This is a reduction from the original $8,900,000 listing price.
The property sits on just over 13 acres. It is located on the outskirts of town towards Lead. The Deadwood Trolley stops there. It is licensed for 210 slot machines and comes with a restaurant and lounge. The Mickelson Trail is nearby.
Deadwood Gulch has its own players club. This includes deals with slot distributors and machine ownership that none of the other properties listed have.
The Buffalo-Bodega complex is in the center of Main Street in downtown Deadwood. It is listed at $6,950,000. The property has gone on and off the market since 2016. The price goes up each time it is relisted. It includes a lounge, restaurant and casino. The casino is mostly slots with one video blackjack machine.
It has four storefronts on Main Street. There is no hotel. This casino is part of the Deadwood slot route, meaning that it splits winnings with the operator and does not need to maintain the machines.
Hickok’s is on Main Street next to the new Outlaw Square. It offers 22 hotel rooms and a casino floor. It is one of the few Deadwood casinos with an indoor smoking area. It offers 59 slots, including two video table games, and a full bar. This casino is part of the Deadwood slot route. This means that it splits winnings with the operator and does not need to maintain the machines.
Bullock Hotel is located near the center of Main Street on the south end by the parking deck. It offers a full bar, restaurant and 28 hotel rooms. There are a few dozen slot machines in the casino. It includes some video poker, coin slots, penny slots and two video blackjack machines. This casino is part of the Deadwood slot route. It splits winnings with the operator and does not need to maintain the machines.
Midnight Star Casino Reopens in Deadwood
Originally posted: July 2, 2020
The Midnight Star opened its doors this week. The property originally opened in 1991. It shuttered nearly three years ago after its previous owner, Kevin Costner, threw in the towel. The property was later sold and remodeled.
The new owners kept much of the design the same as Costner. This includes the slot and table game areas, as well as the sports bar and restaurant names.
The first floor consists of slots and a full bar. The second story is home to more table games than under previous ownership. Diamond Lil’s is a sports bar open on the third floor. It is home to a full bar and kitchen, which serves lunch and dinner.
Jake’s is still on the fourth floor. However, the space will not be utilized as a restaurant as before. It will be leased out as banquet and convention space.
Midnight Star announced that its slot machines will return more to players than the city average, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. The owners say there will be 48 slots on the first floor and 12 table games on the second floor. Table games include double deck blackjack, six-deck blackjack, Free Bet Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and double zero roulette. There will also be a VIP area on the second story.
Owner Seth Denning told the Black Hills Pioneer that the table games will have a $10 chip. This is unusual for any casino. It is the only one in Deadwood with this denomination of chips. The Midnight Star opened on July 1 with 34 employees.
Midnight Star makes the second casino that was closed multiple years to reopen in 2020. Celebrity Hotel welcomed guests back in February.
There are still two properties that have not reopened since the COVID-19 pandemic closure in March. Iron Horse Inn was sold and is being remodeled.
Deadwood Gulch announced that it will not reopen until at least November 2020. It is on the market for $5,100,000.
The Rise and Fall of Deadwood Poker
Originally posted: September 11, 2020
Poker boomed in Deadwood in the late 2000’s. There were six poker rooms in town that spread a combined 31 tables in 2007, according to the South Dakota Department of Revenue. Rake totaled $1.93 million that year, a record in Deadwood. Rake dropped year-over-year in all but two years since.
Four tables disappeared in 2008. It fell below 20 in 2012. Rake dropped to $1.16 million in 2018 with the table count down to 17.
During that time, two poker rooms closed. Lucky Nugget, which opened with 15 tables in 2006 and downsized to 10 by the end, shuttered its poker room in 2010. The two-table poker room at Gold Dust joined it. During that same time, the number of tables at Saloon No. 10 dropped to two.
The COVID-19 pandemic finished off two more Deadwood poker rooms. The Lodge announced that its poker room would not be returning. It was replaced with slot machines. That took five tables out of the market.
The Silverado has not officially closed its five-table poker room permanently. Its status is considered temporary by casino management. However, a spokesperson with the company acknowledged that a permanent closure is possible. There is buzz in town that it will become a sportsbook if South Dakota voters approve it in November.
These two closures took 10 tables out of the Deadwood poker scene. That leaves eight in town. There are two at Saloon No. 10 and six at Cadillac Jack’s.
Issues that led to live poker decline in Deadwood
There were multiple issues that led to the decline of live poker on Deadwood. The first, and perhaps largest, is the overall drop in poker interest across the country. Poker rooms across the country have shuttered or shed tables. However, not on the percentage seen in Deadwood.
Another factor is the Lucky Nugget effect. That poker room opened in Deadwood in 2007. It brought 15 poker tables to the market, nearly doubling it. Its rake was capped at $4 when the other poker rooms in town were all still at $3. Within a couple of years, all Deadwood poker rooms matched Lucky Nugget’s $4 rake cap. Lucky Nugget downsized its poker room before completely closing the property in 2010.
That was not the last rake increase. Within a few years, all Deadwood poker rooms raised the rake cap to $5 plus a jackpot drop.
A high rake in Deadwood poker games is problematic. Most of these games are in lower limits. Taking $5 plus a jackpot dollar out of pots is a bankroll killer. The house was winning too much money from players to sustain the games.
There was also the problem with jackpot funds holding hundreds of thousands of dollars across town. The Deadwood poker economy is not strong enough to have that kind of money disappear from it and be eventually awarded to a handful of players.
In 2013, longtime Deadwood players complained to gaming regulators about collusion in certain poker tournaments. I always felt the structures in these events were poorly thought out and encouraged team behavior. Little ever came out of those accusations, except policies that turned players off, like not being permitted to hold a cell phone at the table. This includes after folding a hand.
The problematic tournament structures were permitted to continue, including ones where regular players were given free entry into events without the house putting enough money into the prize pool to cover it. This eventually stopped, and the poker room involved is now closed.
COVID-19 killed two of Deadwood’s last four poker rooms. It is possible that poker could tick back up some in Deadwood from this bottom. It is unlikely to shrink anymore. However, the days of poker tables spread throughout Main Street casinos will likely never return.
South Dakota Sports Betting on Tuesday Ballot
Originally posed: October 31, 2020
South Dakota voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide many races from president down to some local ones. There are several ballot questions this year. Allowing the legislature to write sports betting regulations is among those.
Sports betting is the subject of Constitutional Amendment B. An amendment to the South Dakota Constitution authorizing the Legislature to allow sports wagering in Deadwood and at tribal casinos starts with the title, “An amendment to the South Dakota Constitution authorizing the Legislature to allow sports wagering in Deadwood.”
The text of the proposal reads:
The constitution currently authorizes the Legislature to allow certain types of gaming in the City of Deadwood: roulette, keno, craps, limited card games, and slot machines. The constitution amendment authorizes the Legislature to also include wagering on sporting events as a type of gaming allowed in Deadwood. Under federal law, any gaming authorized by the Legislature to be offered in Deadwood would also be allowed at on-reservation casinos upon amendments to current tribal gaming compacts.
Voters that would like to adopt the amendment that would help create South Dakota sportsbooks should vote yes. Those that do not wish to authorize the legislature to approve South Dakota sports betting should vote no.
If approved, the state legislature would need to revisit the issue during its 2021 session. It is at that time that the discussion would take place over where to permit sports betting. It could be only allowed at sportsbooks and kiosks in Deadwood and on reservations. The South Dakota Legislature could also decide to permit mobile sports betting.
If mobile sports betting is approved, another discussion would need to take place about whether players would need to visit Deadwood or a tribal casino to create and fund an account or if it could be done on a phone. Currently, mobile horse bettors may create accounts, as well as deposit and withdraw, on apps. This would stop players in Sioux Falls from driving across the border to Iowa to bet on sports.
Gambling is undefeated on South Dakota ballot last five times
Deadwood and the video lottery are a combined 5-0 in the last five gambling ballot questions. These ranged from repealing the state’s video lottery to raising Deadwood bet limits and games. Gambling’s last defeat in South Dakota was in 1993 where a proposal that would have expanded Deadwood casinos and bet limits lost.
What would Deadwood sports betting look like?
I believe a few small sportsbooks would pop up in Deadwood. The shuttered poker rooms seem like a favorite for this. Many casinos would install kiosks or maybe write tickets at the cage instead of opening full-service sportsbooks.
The real wild card is the potential of mobile betting. That is a real game changer. Deadwood casinos would have access to players throughout the state. In addition to getting the vig off that action, a database could be created to market Deadwood casinos to these regional players. In my opinion, that is where the real payoff for sports betting is.
South Dakota Voters Approve Sports Betting
Originally posted: November 5, 2020
South Dakota voters approved Question 2 on Tuesday’s ballot. The constitutional amendment passed by a nearly 20-point margin.
This vote added sports betting language to the approved games permitted in Deadwood. It goes into effect on July 1, 2021.
The next step for Deadwood sports betting is drafting regulations. This will occur in the state legislature, where it must be approved. Regulations will include whether there will be South Dakota mobile sports betting or if it will be entirely contained within the Deadwood city limits. If the latter is the case, bettors would need to drive to Deadwood to make all bets and collect winnings.
Other states have demonstrated that retail-only sports betting is not competitive without a mobile product alongside it. Otherwise, it becomes impossible to compete with offshore sites, neighborhood bookmakers and neighboring states.
Tribal casinos in South Dakota may offer sports betting in July 2021. This is permitted under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Mobile would give tribes the ability to compete with Deadwood, too. These properties are closer than Deadwood for most South Dakotans east of Rapid City. Sioux Falls residents can drive across the state line to Iowa to make a bet.
Gambling on the ballot in other states
South Dakota was one of three states that passed sports betting in the November election. Maryland and most Louisiana parishes also approved the gambling expansion into sports betting.
Voters in Virginia approved casinos in four cities. This gives the green light to gaming properties in Bristol, Danville, Norfolk and Portsmouth. Richmond will have a casino referendum in 2021.
Nebraska residents approved casinos at the state’s racetracks. It became the last state in the Great Plains to permit that form of gambling. Previously, only horseracing, charity gaming, keno and a state lottery were permitted.
Colorado casinos will no longer have a bet limit. Currently, it is $100 in Colorado. Any game can be approved when the new law goes into effect in May. Colorado casino expansion requires passage by the cities that host the properties.
Colorado charities scored a victory at the ballot box. More charities will be able to offer games like bingo and raffles to raise funds. Employees will now be permitted to get paid minimum wage. Previously, everyone that helped run a nonprofit game of chance had to do so as a volunteer. No payment was permitted.
Silverado Poker Room Reopens Today
Originally posted: January 20, 2021
The Silverado poker room reopens today, January 20, 2021. It welcomes players back at noon. That will be its opening time Wednesday through Sunday. It is dark Monday and Tuesday. The poker room will have eight seats per table.
The announcement was made on the Silverado poker room’s Facebook page on January 15. It posted a reminder four days later.
The five-table poker room originally closed on March 20, a week before the casino closed. The entire Deadwood gaming market shuttered for about six weeks by city order due to the pandemic.
The Silverado poker room had been rumored to become a sportsbook if South Dakota voters approved sports betting. That did not come true.
Silverado poker room games
Only cash games will be dealt for the first few weeks at the Silverado poker room. This includes the standard 2-20 spread limit Texas Hold’em and Omaha hi/lo game, as well as a small weekly fixed limit game. The Omaha hi/lo game was traditionally dealt on Friday nights, while Texas Hold’em was offered daily. There is also a Tuesday dealer’s choice game that deals mostly Omaha hi/lo on Tuesdays.
The Silverado poker room’s website announced that tournaments return in February. The Mid-States Poker Tour has a stop scheduled at the Silverado poker room from May 1 through May 31. No events are listed on the site. No other information about this stop is available now.
Deadwood now has three open poker rooms
This announcement brings the number of open Deadwood poker rooms to three. Cadillac Jack’s reopened its poker room on May 4, making it the first in a casino to reopen in the country. Saloon No. 10 followed by reopening its poker room and table games about a month later.
The Deadwood poker market will grow from eight to thirteen tables with three open rooms. It peaked in 2007 with 31 tables across six poker rooms.
The Lodge at Deadwood announced in the summer that its poker room will remain closed. The casino said the decision was permanent. Gold Dust and Lucky Nugget had Deadwood poker rooms that closed in the last 10 years. The entire Lucky Nugget casino is now shuttered, while Gold Dust is open with slots and table games, but no poker tables. Electronic table games are in the area of the old Gold Dust poker room.
Deadwood Gaming Win Down 6.22% in 2020
Originally posted: January 23, 2021
The pandemic closed Deadwood casinos for six weeks in the spring. However, Deadwood bounced back and gained some of the losses as 2020 continued.
Net gaming win at Deadwood casinos was $96.4 million in 2020, according to stats released by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. This was down 6.22% from 2019. Even with the decline in gaming revenue, Deadwood still outperformed most other gaming markets in terms of lower losses in 2020 against the previous year.
Slot win came in at $7.8 million, up 14% from the previous December. Table games dropped $1.1 million. That was down 8% from December 2019.
Using the handle metric, December was up 20% overall. The year was down 2.35%.
Deadwood added new poker room this month
The December 2020 Deadwood gaming report notes that there were only eight poker tables in the market. These tables dropped $70,616 in rake in the month. That was down 34% from last year. There is good news for the Deadwood poker market. The Silverado poker room reopened this week. That adds five tables to the town’s balance. There were previous two open Deadwood poker rooms.
Deadwood was helped by being the last US commercial gaming market to close and the first to reopen. The Deadwood City Commission voted to close its casinos on March 25. All other commercial casinos in the country had already closed. A few tribal ones remained open, including a couple on eastern South Dakota. Many of the state’s video lottery casinos remained open daily while all other gaming devices in the United States were shut down.
The Deadwood City Commission voted to reopen casinos on May 7. It was the first commercial casino market to reopen. Only a handful of tribal ones had come back at the time.
Deadwood does not have a mask mandate, though businesses may remove patrons that refuse to wear one against a casino’s policy with backup from Deadwood police. Table seating restrictions are voluntary. Much of the market operates as normal while encouraging social distancing. Most casino markets have table seat restrictions and mask mandates.
Currently, table games at Colorado casinos are closed. This may help with Deadwood tourism in the near term.
Deadwood Gulch Sold, Reopening Plans Announced
Originally posted: January 30, 2021
The shuttered Deadwood Gulch Resort property was sold this week after over being on the market for over three years. The gaming and hotel property, located on the south side of Deadwood near Lead, is expected to reopen in parts throughout the next six months.
The entire Deadwood Gulch property closed in March due to the pandemic. It is the only major casino that has yet to reopen in Deadwood.
New Deadwood Gulch owner discusses plans for property
Ernest Hospitality, LLC is the new owner of Deadwood Gulch, according to the Black Hills Pioneer, which broke the story on Friday. “I am really excited to be in Deadwood. We are going through a full renovation but expect to be completely operational in time for summer,” Tim C. Johnson of Ernest Hospitality told the local newspaper. “Future plans include snowmobile, UTV rentals, and luxury cabins up on the hill out back.”
The purchase price appeared to be around $3.5 million, according to the Lawrence County Register of Deeds. The property was on the market for $6.6 million in 2017. It disappeared from real estate listing services in the fall of 2020. Deadwood Gulch removed its public Facebook page from public view around the same time.
Deadwood Gulch will be renovated before reopening
The Black Hills Pioneer reported that the entire property will be remodeled before welcoming back guests. The Deadwood Gulch name will remain. The new owners hope to have the hotel reopened in about a month. There are 87 rooms on the property. Rates are not yet available.
The casino will require a licensing process that could delay the return of slots and video poker until July. The 100 or so gaming machines on the property were a part of the sale.
Deadwood Gulch did not deal any live or electronic table games when it closed. It hosted two blackjack tables a decade ago. You can visit our Deadwood Gulch page to see what we found during our last visit to the property in August 2019.
The Creekside Restaurant will not return to Deadwood Gulch. Ernest Hospitality hopes to lease the space to a tenant that fits the new vision of the property. If no qualified restaurant operators are found for the space, Deadwood Gulch expects to manage its food outlets in-house.
The convention space will receive a full remodel, according to the Black Hills Pioneer. This includes new carpeting and a kitchen to cater large events. Ernest Hospitality hopes to have this space open by May.
The reopening of Deadwood Gulch is expected to bring about 50 jobs to the Deadwood labor market.
Deadwood Sports Betting Bill Passes State Senate
Originally posted: February 10, 2021
The South Dakota Senate passed SB 44 by a 32-2 vote on Tuesday, February 9. It now heads to the state house. A two-thirds majority is required to pass the bill.
The bill would permit sportsbooks and betting kiosks within the city limits of Deadwood. This would also permit tribal casinos in the state to accept wagers on sports.
The South Dakota sports betting bill SB 44 only allows for wagers to be made on the premises of a licensed gaming operator in Deadwood. Mobile betting is not permitted under SB 44.
Mobile betting is often a majority of total sports handle
Most states with legal sports betting, including nearby Colorado and Iowa, have legal mobile sports betting. This allows players to make wagers on a phone or similar electronic device. Accounts may be created on an app, which also processes deposits and withdrawals. South Dakota sports bettors near the Iowa border are familiar with how easy this process is.
Mobile is more than half of all sports betting revenues in states where it is legal. This feature is reportedly opposed by the South Dakota governor. The lack of mobile betting may make it unprofitable for operators to turn a profit off an investment in sportsbooks.
The annual licensing fee is $2,000. There is also a nine percent tax on gross gaming revenues.
No betting permitted on some amateur events
There are some betting exclusions in the bill. It includes a ban on betting on college sports if a team is located in South Dakota. Prop betting on individual college player performances is not permitted. High school and minor league betting would also not be permitted under SB 44.
Deadwood Gaming Association supports SB 44
Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association, was on the Nate Brown Show on February 10. It is airs on Fox Sports Rapid City.
Rodman told Brown that he thinks Deadwood could have sports betting live by the end of the summer if the bill passes the state house and is signed by the governor. The bill allows for it to begin on July 1. However, there may not be enough time to have it live by then.
The Deadwood Gaming Association hoped to get mobile sports betting in 2021. Opposition to it by the governor and anti-gambling legislators likely makes mobile betting impossible at this time.
HB 1231 is the bill that would permit mobile sports betting in South Dakota. It was referred to the House Taxation Committee. It has not had a hearing. Rodman believes the bill is dead.
Without mobile legislation, some Deadwood casinos would still accept wagers with the hope that the legislature will revisit the issue in 2022 to make the action more profitable once it has been demonstrated that it was regulated properly.
Deadwood Sports Betting Signed Into Law
Originally posted: March 18, 2021
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed SB 44 into law today. This legislation allows Deadwood casinos to offer legal sportsbooks. The bets must be made on the premises of a licensed gaming establishment.
There will be no mobile sports betting in South Dakota in 2021. A bill proposing it died in the legislature this year. It is expected to return in future sessions.
South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment that allows for sports betting in the Deadwood city limits in November 2020. State lawmakers passed SB 44, which only allows sports bets to be made in Deadwood casinos. The law also forbids wagering on games involving minor leagues, high schools or any South Dakota colleges. Individual prop bets on college athletes are also not permitted.
The law goes into effect on July 1, 2021. However, the state gaming commission must draft regulations and complete the licensing process before sportsbooks can start taking bets.
A South Dakota sports betting license carries a $2,000 annual fee. The tax rate is nine percent of gross gaming revenue. Deadwood sports bettors must be at least 21 years old.
Sportsbooks already being built around Deadwood
Deadwood operators are wasting no time preparing for legal sports betting. While some may opt to only offer kiosks for betting, there are expected to be several full-service Deadwood sportsbooks.
Keating Resources acquired the Deadwood Dick’s property in December 2020. The company announced that it will remodel the building to include 30 hotel rooms and the largest sports viewing area in Deadwood. It will be called Sportsbook Deadwood. The expected opening date is November 2021.
Tin Lizzie announced that it is building a sportsbook at its Main Street property. Deadwood operators are hopeful to have sportsbooks live by September, just in time for the start of football season.
MSPT Returns to Deadwood in May
Originally posted: March 19, 2021
The South Dakota State Poker Championship is scheduled to return to the Silverado poker room in Deadwood from May 14-16. The event is a part of the Mid-States Poker Tour.
The start of day 1A is May 14. It plays until 12 percent of the field remains. Day 1B is on May 15. Both flights will finish the 2021 South Dakota State Poker Championship on May 16.
Day 1 starts at 3pm. Day 2 starts at 11am.
Main event details
The buy-in for the main event is $1,110. Of this, $970 goes to the prize pool. There is a $40 staff fee. The admin fee is $100. This includes the add-on. In South Dakota, poker rake is capped at ten percent. This includes tournaments.
Players start with 25,000 tournament chips. It is a big blind ante event. This includes satellites. The first level is 100/100/100. Levels go up every 40 minutes until heads up, when it drops to 30 minutes. There is a break after every three levels.
South Dakota State Poker Championship satellite tournaments
There are two satellite structures to the 2021 South Dakota State Poker Championship. One has a $65 buy-in. The other is $260. Both pay one seat for every five entries.
The 10 $65 tournaments are mega satellites. The first is on April 16. Players start with 12,000 chips after the add-on. Levels go up every 15 minutes. The first level is 100/100/100.
The $260 satellites start with 15,000 chips. The first level is 100/100/100. Each level is 20 minutes. There are 12 $260 satellites on the schedule. The first is on April 23 and includes two on May 13 and one each morning on both day ones.
Other Deadwood poker tournaments
There are three poker rooms in Deadwood. Each deals cash games and no limit Texas Hold’em tournaments.
There are three tournaments each week at the Cadillac Jack’s poker room. There is a $60 tournament on Tuesdays and Saturdays. A $140 tournament starts at 6:30pm on Tuesdays.
Saloon No. 10 has a $9 tournament every Friday and Saturday at 10:30am. It has $10 rebuys and add-ons.
The Silverado poker room deals three tournaments each week. There is a $33 tournament at 3pm on Sundays and 6:30pm on Wednesdays. An $88 deep stack tournament is held every Thursday at 6:30pm. Players that cash in the deep stack event often qualify for other promotions such as a points race for seats to the South Dakota State Poker Championship.
Deadwood Gulch Resort Reopens Hotel
Originally posted: June 9, 2021
Deadwood Gulch Resort reopened its hotel just in time for the busy tourism season. The rooms were remodeled as part of a property-wide renovation. The hotel at Deadwood Gulch Resort is a part of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham.
Rates start at $69 per night during slow mid-week days. Some weekdays are as high as $179. Weekends start at $299 and run up to $399. This is for a single king room. Rooms with two queens tend to be $10 more.
There are three larger room options. There is a two-queen family suite, one king honeymoon suite, and a one king presidential suite. These rooms are often $50 or more than a standard room.
Most amenities are still not open
Deadwood Gulch’s amenities are not yet fully open. The property notes on its website that its casino, Creekside Restaurant and Fireside Lounge are still closed. The company is awaiting approval for its gaming license as it owns the machines from the sale of the property. The company is hopeful that this is resolved by the end of the summer.
In addition to the hotel, the convention center is open. It is advertised as the perfect place for wedding, meetings, reunions and parties.
Deadwood Gulch offers free on-site parking. Those looking to play slots may walk over to the neighboring Super 8, which is also a part of the Trademark Collection by Wyndham. There are video lottery machines at the bar at the Comfort Inn across the street from Deadwood Gulch. Neither Super 8 or Comfort Inn offer a restaurant.
Deadwood’s Main Street is too long of a walk for most people. The Deadwood Trolley operates from 8am to midnight during the week and 8am to 2am on weekends. The price is $1 per ride. It picks up at the front door of Deadwood Gulch.
Deadwood Gulch originally closed in March 2020 due to the pandemic. It had been on the market for years. All other Deadwood casinos reopened in 2020 except for Deadwood Gulch, which sold earlier this year to the current owners. The company regularly advertises job postings on its Facebook page.
South Dakota Sports Betting Regulations Approved by Commission
Originally posted: July 16, 2021
The South Dakota Commission on Gaming approved the initial sports betting regulations at a meeting on Wednesday, July 14, 2021. This includes the rules sportsbooks and casinos in Deadwood will be required to follow once sports betting is launched. This would also permit the state’s tribal casinos to have sportsbooks.
The goal is to get sports books in Deadwood live by the NFL kickoff on September 9, 2021. The rules must first be approved by the South Dakota Legislature. The news was first reported by Sports Handle.
Only retail sportsbook are permitted
The regulations are 36 pages long. It mostly covers money laundering and other compliance issues, as well as general rules of operations.
The most noteworthy regulation is that sports betting will only be permitted at retail sportsbooks. Mobile betting was not approved by the state legislature. The governor opposed this expansion of gambling.
The maximum bet permitted on any sporting event is $1,000. This coincides with the bet limit on slots and table games. Lower limits may be set under house rules.
There are also sections covering getting sporting events approved by the gaming commission, a method for sports governing bodies to request the removal of an event from betting boards, patron protection policies, posting of house rules that include minimum and maximum bets, and other house requirements.
Bets may not be accepted on pari-mutuel horse or dog races, fantasy sports, an event where a majority of the participants are under 18 years old, the injury of any player, college games involving South Dakota teams, or prop bets on individual college players.
Sports betting contests and tournaments are permitted if a request is submitted with details to regulators. The laying off of bets is not permitted, unless approved by the commission. Suspicious wagering must be reported by licensees. Players may opt out of sports betting with a self-exclusion. Bettors must be at least 21 years old.
The licensing application fee is $5,000. The annual fee is $2,000 to maintain the license. Sports wagering services provider applications may be found here.
Which sportsbooks will operate in South Dakota?
That is the big question. The identities of the potential sports betting operators are not yet known. Deadwood sportsbooks are under development with some ready to go as soon as sports betting is permitted to launch.
Deadwood casino partners are likely to be the same as ones found in active sports betting markets. FanDuel, DraftKings, William Hill and BetMGM are among the expected players in the Deadwood sportsbook field.
MSPT Returns to Deadwood in October
Originally posted: August 17, 2021
Note: This post is from 2021. Read our October 2022 MSPT Deadwood article here.
The Mid-States Poker Tour returns to the Silverado in Deadwood, South Dakota October 22 to 24. The event is called the Deadwood Shootout.
The buy-in is $1,110. Of this, $970 goes to the prize pool. The admin fee is $100. The staff fee is $40. There is one re-entry per flight.
There is an A and B for the first day. Day 1A starts at 3pm on Friday, October 22. Day 1B starts at 3pm on Saturday, October 23. Day 1A will play 15 levels or until only 12% of the field remains. Day 1B will play until the same point.
Day 2 starts at 11am on Sunday, October 24. It includes all remaining tournament players.
The starting stack is 25,000 chips. There is a big blind ante. The first level is 100/100/100. Levels go up every 40 minutes, except when it is heads up, where it is ten minutes shorter. A standard ante enters the tournament when 27 players remain. There is a ten-minute break every three levels.
MSPT Deadwood Shootout satellites
Satellites for the MSPT Deadwood Shootout start on September 24, 2021. There are 10 $65 mega satellites. One seat to a $260 satellite is awarded for every five entries. The house fee is $5. The dealer fee is $8.
Players start with 12,000 chips. It is structured like the main event, except that levels go up every 15 minutes and there is a break every six levels. Reentries are permitted until the end of the first break.
The $260 satellite awards one seat for every five players entered. Of this, $222 goes to the prize pool, $23 to the house and $15 to the staff.
Players start with 15,000 chips. Levels last 20 minutes. Re-entries are permitted until the start of level nine. There are 11 $260 satellites scheduled.
$65 MSPT Deadwood Shootout schedule
- September 24: 6:30pm
- September 28: 6:30pm
- October 2: Noon
- October 5: 6:30pm
- October 12: 6:30pm
- October 16: Noon
- October 17: Noon
- October 18: 6:30pm
- October 19: 1pm
- October 20: 1pm
$260 MSPT Deadwood Shootout schedule
- October 1: 6:30pm
- October 2: 6:30pm
- October 8: 6:30pm
- October 15: 6:30pm
- October 16: 6:30pm
- October 17: 4pm
- October 19: 6:30pm
- October 20: 6:30pm
- October 21: Noon
- October 21: 6:30pm
- October 22: 10am
Last Chance Tournament
There is a $250 Last Chance Showdown at noon on October 24. It is a side event, not a satellite. Each buy-in has $200 go to the prize pool with $25 each to the staff and the poker room for an admin fee. Reentries are permitted until the start of level nine.
The starting stack is 15,000. It uses the same structure as the other tournaments. Each level is 20 minutes.
Deadwood poker tournaments cap rake at 10 percent
Large poker tournaments in Deadwood offer a great value. Deadwood poker rooms may not keep more than 10% of the prize pool. This allows for larger paybacks to winners when compared to similar tournaments in other markets with no rake cap. Staff fees are not included in the 10% rake cap.
Read the full details for this event on MSPT’s website.
Deadwood Sportsbooks Now Taking Bets
Originally posted: September 9, 2021
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers start defending their NFL championship by hosting the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football tonight. Not coincidentally, Deadwood is also kicking off sports betting today.
We have been able to confirm the opening of three sports betting operations in Deadwood. BetMGM partnered with Cadillac Jack’s and Tin Lizzie.
Gold Dust also opened a sports betting operation in Deadwood today. Bets made at Gold Dust are on iSports Stand kiosks operated by ISI Race & Sports. The Lodge at Deadwood notes that it has a sportsbook coming soon, but it did not announce an opening day launch.
Deadwood Mountain Grand shared two pictures of its new Dale’s Sportsbook with us this morning, though it is still waiting for approval to launch:
Cadillac Jack’s showed off its new BetMGM sportsbook in a tweet today. It took the first legal sports bet in South Dakota history this morning, according to a company press release. It shows the first six bets booked by BetMGM in South Dakota. Those include Pittsburgh Steelers and Denver Broncos futures bets to win the Super Bowl.
More than half of states now have legal sports betting
As of today, there are 26 states plus Washington DC that have legalized sports betting. Of those, 10 states require bettors to go to a gaming establishment to make the bet. South Dakota’s decision to not permit statewide mobile sports betting puts it into this category. However, residents near Wyoming and Iowa may cross the border and create an account in those states to make mobile sports bets.
Deadwood sportsbooks are permitted to take action on a variety of sports. This includes football, baseball, basketball, hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, auto racing, boxing, mixed martial arts and nearly any other professional sport where there is a market. Straight bets, money lines, totals, parlays, teasers, props and futures are among the types of available wagers on these sporting events.
One type of bet that is noticeably absent from the menu is games involving South Dakota colleges. Gaming regulations do not permit action on those events at Deadwood sportsbooks.
While statewide mobile sports betting is not legal in South Dakota, these apps may be used on the property of the casino where the sportsbook is licensed. As of today, none have been launched in Deadwood. BetMGM says it plans on having one at its Deadwood partner properties in the near future.
The maximum bet permitted under law is $1,000, though sportsbooks may lower that. All South Dakota sport bettors must be at least 21 years old.
Deadwood Needs Mobile Sports Betting to Compete
Originally posted: February 15, 2022
South Dakota voters approved a constitutional amendment to allow sports betting in November 2020. The state legislature passed laws to create a retail sports betting industry in Deadwood. This allows sports betting counters and kiosks in casinos in Deadwood, and by default through the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, on South Dakota reservations.
This was a huge first step in creating a South Dakota sports betting industry. However, the plan is far from finished.
South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem opposes all gambling expansion, including mobile sports betting. Her stance allows offshore sportsbooks to have a monopoly on remote sports betting in South Dakota, while not permitting legitimate South Dakota businesses to enter the market.
It is an odd position in a state where gambling raises more tax dollars than any other form of revenue except sales tax. The governor’s opposition killed any chance for South Dakota to have mobile sports betting in 2021 and 2022.
The state legislature came up with an idea to get around Noem’s opposition to one of the state’s largest industries.
A constitutional amendment was proposed that would require mobile sports betting to be added to the retail sports betting that already occurs in Deadwood. The resolution already passed the state senate. The state house is debating the bill at this time. If it passes both chambers, it will head to South Dakota voters in November 2022. Governor Noem can’t veto it.
Why mobile sports betting makes sense for South Dakota
There are several reasons that mobile sports betting is a great fit for South Dakota. First, it already has mobile betting on horse racing. That has been legal in South Dakota for nearly 15 years. There are no known issues with this form of betting. It has become the only way for most South Dakotans to bet on horse races.
South Dakota mobile sports betting would create jobs. These jobs are currently in countries like Antigua and Costa Rica.
South Dakota taxes casinos at a rate of 9%. This includes sports betting. That money goes towards the revitalization of Deadwood and to the surrounding communities. Some goes directly to the state’s general fund. This is free money that is already being spent by residents in other states and offshore.
You may have noticed how many sportsbook ads there are on television. These companies do not advertise through local South Dakota media because the market is not open. If it does, South Dakota media companies would immediately benefit. This advertising money could make or break a small media organization, like a newspaper.
Making South Dakotans drive to Deadwood to make a sports bet when most Americans can make a sports bet from the comfort of their own home is an unnecessary inconvenience. For many South Dakotans, it is easier to drive to Iowa or Wyoming to make a mobile sports bet, and even easier to make the bet at an unlicensed offshore site from their home. The state loses every time a resident does any of that.
Deadwood casinos will make more money from licensing partnerships if mobile betting is permitted. Sportsbooks generated about $2.7 million in handle in the last four months of 2021. The statistical win was about 1% of that, or about $270,000. The total Deadwood win during this time was nearly $50 million.
Sports betting made up about 0.3% of that amount. Most states, on a percentage basis, generate 1-2% of their overall gaming revenue from sports betting. The cause of this is the lack of mobile betting in the state.
The future of gaming is on mobile devices and over the internet. It is time for South Dakota to join more than 20 other states in making that happen.
Hope for South Dakota Mobile Sports Betting in 2022 Dies
Originally posted: February 25, 2022
Mobile sports betting must wait at least another year in South Dakota. The House State Affairs Committee declined to advance Senate Joint Resolution 502 by a 10-3 vote.
This bill would have sent South Dakota mobile sports betting to the November 2022 ballot, bypassing Governor Noem, who has said that she would veto this type of legislation. SJR 502 had previously passed the South Dakota Senate by a single vote.
A report cited by the Argus Leader notes that nearly 7,000 people were blocked from making sports bets in South Dakota around the Super Bowl. Many of these South Dakotans were trying to access legal Iowa sportsbooks. Wyoming also has licensed mobile sportsbooks.
Deputy Revenue Secretary David Wiest claimed that when South Dakota voters approved sports betting in the state in 2020, they did not anticipate statewide mobile betting. That is an odd assumption since nearly every other state that passed similar legislation included mobile betting in the first legislative session after the referendum.
Wiest also stated that expanding sports betting to mobile devices only serves to increase revenue for out-of-state companies like DraftKings and FanDuel, according to the Argus Leader. Wiest seems unfamiliar with how South Dakota taxes gaming revenues and licensing deals that would give Deadwood casinos revenue for doing little more than creating a partnership agreement. These were not even Wiest’s worst arguments.
Some Deadwood casinos don’t support mobile sports betting
Another issue is that the Deadwood Gaming Association could not come to a consensus on expanding sports betting to statewide mobile devices. Some casinos subscribe to the antiquated thinking that internet gaming takes away from retail casinos or are not interested in participating in the sports betting market.
Deadwood sports betting action is pitiful without statewide mobile betting
In December 2021, Deadwood sportsbooks accepted $675,311 in wagers, winning about $10,000, according to the South Dakota Commission on Gaming. That same month, Wyoming mobile sportsbooks accepted about $12.3 million in bets, generating $813,000 in gross gaming revenue, according to the Wyoming Pari-Mutuel Commission.
The story was the same in November 2021. Wyoming mobile sportsbooks accepted about $11 million in wagers for a gross profit of $1.365 million. Deadwood sportsbooks accepted $717,775 in wagers for a statistical win of about $75,000.
Wyoming’s population is about two-thirds that of South Dakota. Its sports betting handle is over 15 times that of Deadwood. Mobile betting makes all the difference. The Deadwood sports betting industry will continue to be irrelevant until it accepts the reality that it does not work without statewide mobile betting.
Deadwood casino revenues and tax collections needlessly suffer
The big losers in this development are South Dakota sports bettors that must continue either driving to other states to make mobile sports bets, or placing them at illegal offshore sportsbooks. Deadwood also lost in the deal as mobile sports betting licensing revenue would have gone towards each casino’s bottom line, while taxes from it would have funded the historical preservation of the state’s only commercial casino town.
Betting March Madness Basketball Tournament in South Dakota
Originally posted: March 13, 2022
March Madness is here. The NCAA Basketball Tournament brackets were released today. For the first time, it is legal to bet on March Madness in South Dakota. However, it is far from convenient. This guide will help you find places to bet on college basketball in Deadwood and alternatives for residents in other parts of the state.
No betting on South Dakota State Jackrabbits
The South Dakota State Jackrabbits made the NCAA Basketball Tournament as a 13 seed in the Midwest Region. Their opponent is Providence, the four seed.
However, gaming regulations do not permit any betting on South Dakota college teams. This means that there will be no wagers made in Deadwood on or against the Jackrabbits.
There is a solution. Iowa and Wyoming both have statewide mobile sports betting. South Dakota residents near those state lines can drive across the border, make an account, and place bets on South Dakota State games.
Deadwood sports betting
Deadwood is the only place to bet on sports legally in South Dakota. There are sportsbooks at several casinos in the city. Click the link for a list of confirmed Deadwood sportsbooks.
Locations include Cadillac Jack’s, Tin Lizzie, Mustang Sally’s, Deadwood Mountain Grand and Gold Dust. We have found no South Dakota tribal casinos with sports betting.
No statewide mobile sports betting in South Dakota
While South Dakota voters approved sports betting overwhelmingly in the November 2020 election, Governor Kristi Noem opposes it, even though mobile betting on horses has been legal in South Dakota for more than 15 years.
Noem told the state legislature that she would veto any mobile betting that expanded outside of Deadwood casinos. This led state lawmakers to pass sports wagering only in-person at Deadwood casinos and on mobile apps within the properties that offer it. No casinos have launched mobile betting on its property.
There was an attempt to pass statewide mobile sports betting in the 2021 legislative session. It passed the state senate, but failed in the house. The Deadwood Gaming Association could not come to an agreement on a position and remained neutral during the debates.
This mistake has led to pitiful action for South Dakota sports betting. Without mobile betting, Deadwood casinos exponentially lag its neighbors in terms of action. Wyoming mobile sportsbooks post revenue numbers that are more than 10 times that of South Dakota. Wyoming’s population is only about two-thirds that of South Dakota.
The problem is that Deadwood is not convenient to South Dakota’s population centers. It is an hour drive from Rapid City. It is five hours from Sioux Falls.
Where to bet on sports in South Dakota outside Deadwood
South Dakota residents have a couple of options to place bets outside of Deadwood. Sioux Falls residents may drive across the Iowa border to create a mobile sports betting account in that state. This may be done on any phone. Deposits and wagers may be made across the state line in Iowa.
Wyoming has the same situation as Iowa. South Dakota residents in the western part of the state that do not want to drive to Deadwood may cross the state line into Wyoming, create a mobile betting account, deposit, and make sports bets on any modern phone.
Some South Dakotans continue to bet on sports the old fashioned way through offshore sites or local bookies. This comes with risks, but will continue to be a thriving industry for as long as South Dakota refuses to enter the modern era of mobile sports betting.
MSPT Returns to Silverado Poker Room in Deadwood
Originally posted: March 16, 2022
Deadwood will once again be a stop on the Mid-States Poker Tour. The event is the South Dakota State Poker Championship.
The $1,110 Main Event starts on May 20, 2022. It has a $100,000 guaranteed prize pool. Satellites begin on April 20 at the Silverado poker room.
There are two types of satellites for the Main Event. One is a $65 tournament. One out of five players from this satellite receives a seat in a $260 satellite. One player for every five buy-ins in the $260 satellite gets an entry into the $1,110 Main Event.
All satellite tickets are transferable. MSPT Deadwood events have big blind ante structures.
$65 MSPT Deadwood satellite details
The $65 MSPT Deadwood satellite has $52 going to the prize pool. There is a $5 admin fee and $8 staff fee.
Players start with 10,000 tournament chips. Blinds increase every 20 minutes. The first level is 100/100/100 big blind ante/small blind/large blind. Late registration is available for the first two hours.
There are 10 $65 MSPT Deadwood satellites:
- April 22 at 6:30pm
- April 26 at 6:30pm
- April 30 at noon
- May 3 at 6:30pm
- May 7 at noon
- May 10 at 6:30pm
- May 14 at noon
- May 15 at noon
- May 17 at 1pm
- May 18 at 1pm
$260 MSPT Deadwood satellite details
The $260 satellite buy-in will have $222 going to the prize pool, $23 as an admin fee for the poker room and $15 goes to the staff. Players start with 15,000 chips. Blinds increase every 20 minutes during normal satellites. There are two turbo satellites where blinds go up every 15 minutes.
Players may late register and re-enter until the start of level nine. The first level is 100/100/100 for big blind ante/small blind/large blind.
There are 14 $260 satellites for the MSPT Deadwood at the Silverado poker room. Two are turbo. The dates and times are below:
- April 29 at 6:30pm
- April 30 at 6:30pm
- May 6 at 6:30pm
- May 7 at 6:30pm
- May 13 at 6:30pm
- May 14 at 6:30pm
- May 15 at 4pm
- May 16 at 6:30pm
- May 17 at 6:30pm
- May 18 at 6:30pm
- May 19 at noon
- May 19 at 6:30pm
- May 20 at 10am (turbo)
- May 21 at 10am (turbo)
MSPT Deadwood Main Event structure
The $1,110 MSPT Main Event has $970 go to the prize pool, $100 to the poker room as an admin fee and $40 goes to the staff. The prize pool has a $100,000 guarantee. There will be $1,500 withheld for player prizes.
Day 1A starts at 3pm on Friday, May 20. Day 1B starts at 3pm on Saturday, May 21. Day 2 starts at 11am on May 22.
The starting stack is 25,000. The first level is 100/100/100 for big blind ante/small blind/large blind. Blinds go up every 40 minutes until it is heads up, where levels increase every 30 minutes.
Late registration and re-entry are permitted until the start of level 13. That is approximately 520 minutes into the tournament when including breaks.
$250 Last Chance Showdown
There is a $250 Last Chance Showdown at noon on May 22. The prize pool receives $200, while staff and the poker room each receive $25 of the buy-in. Players start with 15,000 chips. Blinds increase every 20 minutes. Players may late register and re-enter until the start of level nine.
Detailed structured sheets are available on the MSPT website.
Three Deadwood poker rooms are open
There will be plenty of cash game and tournament action at the Silverado poker room during the MSPT. Visitors that want to check out other Deadwood poker rooms can visit Saloon No. 10 and Cadillac Jack’s. Each offers a unique poker experience. The higher limit games will likely be at Cadillac Jack’s. The more recreational, lower limit games are often at Saloon No. 10.
Deadwood Shootout MSPT October 2022 Information
Originally posted: September 23, 2022
The Mid-States Poker Tour is coming back to the Silverado poker room in Deadwood. It is the 2022 Deadwood Shootout. The dates are October 21 through October 23. The prize pool is guaranteed to be at least $100,000.
There are several ways to enter the main event. The direct buy-in is $1,110. There are also 24 satellites. The first begins today, September 23, 2022.
There are two types of satellites. One is a $65 super satellite. One out of five players advance to a $260 satellite of their choice. In the $260 satellite, one out of five players receive a free entry into the $1,110 main event. If the number of entries for any satellite is not divisible by five, the player that bubbles will receive that portion of the prize pool in cash.
Day 1a of the main event starts at 3pm on Friday, October 21. Day 1b starts at 3pm on Saturday, October 22. The main event’s day two starts at 11am on Sunday, October 23. There is also a $250 last chance tournament at noon on October 23. All Deadwood shootout events are no limit Texas hold’em.
MSPT Deadwood Shootout satellite times
There are 24 Mid-States Poker Tour satellites. Most are held at 6:30pm on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and noon on Saturdays. There are 10 $65 super satellites and 14 $260 main satellites. The two last $260 satellites are turbos as they start right before the main event. See the time for each on the structure sheet on the Mid-States Poker Tour’s website.
MSPT Deadwood Shootout satellite structures
Players in the $65 super satellites start with 10,000 chips. The first level is 100/100/100. This includes a big blind ante. Levels go up incrementally every 20 minutes. Of the $65 buy-in, $52 goes to the prize pool. The remainder goes to the staff and house.
The $260 satellite starts with 15,000 chips. Levels in this event also go up every 20 minutes. The prize pool receives $222 of the buy-in. Remaining funds go to the staff and house. The blinds are the same between the super satellite and main one.
MSPT Deadwood Shootout main event structure
The $1,110 main event starts with 25,000 in chips. Levels go up every 40 minutes. The $1,110 buy-in sees $970 go to the prize pool. The rest is split between the staff and house.
The last chance event starts at 3pm on October 23. It is $250, with $200 going to the prize pool. The rest goes to the dealer and house. This tournament uses the same structure as the $260 satellite, where players start with 15,000 chips and blinds going up every 20 minutes.
Last Updated on August 27, 2023 by Kristina Mehaffey