South Dakota Casinos

by Steve Bourie Learn more about the author 

South Dakota’s bars and taverns are allowed to have up to 10 video lottery terminals (VLT’s) that offer the following games: poker, keno, blackjack and bingo.

These machines are the same as regular video gaming devices but are called lottery terminals because they are regulated by the state’s lottery commission which receives a share of each machine’s revenue.

The machines accept cash but don’t pay out in cash; instead, they print out a receipt which must be taken to a cashier. The maximum bet is $2 and the maximum payout allowed is $1,000.

Slot machines, as well as blackjack and poker are only permitted at Indian casinos and in Deadwood.

Deadwood was once most famous for being the home of Wild Bill Hickok who was shot to death while playing cards in the No. 10 Saloon. The hand he held was two pairs: black aces and black eights, which is now commonly referred to as a “dead man’s hand.” Wild Bill is buried in the local cemetery along with another local celebrity: Calamity Jane.

The first casinos in Deadwood opened on November 1, 1989. All of the buildings in the downtown area are required to conform with the city’s authentic 1880’s architecture. Many of the casinos are located in historic structures but there are also some new structures which were designed to be compatible with the historic theme of the town. The old No. 10 Saloon is still operating and you can actually gamble in the same spot where old Wild Bill bit the dust!

South Dakota law limits each casino licensee to a maximum of 30 slot machines and no one person is allowed to hold more than three licenses. Some operators combine licenses with other operators to form a cooperative which may look like one casino but in reality it’s actually several licensees operating under one name.

The state’s gaming laws originally limited blackjack, poker, let it ride and three-card poker bets to a maximum of $5, however, in late 2000 the law was changed to allow maximum bets of $100.

In addition to the Deadwood casinos, there are also nine Indian casinos in South Dakota. These casinos are also subject to the $100 maximum bet restrictions.

Click HERE to see a list of South Dakota casino slot machine payback statistics.

Some of the larger casinos are open 24 hours but most of the smaller ones are open from 8 a.m. until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. until 2 a.m. on the weekends.

The Deadwood Trolly runs a scheduled shuttle service to all of the casinos that operates from 8 a.m. to midnight weekdays and 7 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekends. During the summer months the weekday hours are extended until 1:30 a.m. The cost is $1 per ride.

Unless otherwise noted, all casinos offer slot machines and video poker. Some casinos also offer: blackjack (BJ), let it ride (LIR), three-card poker (TCP), Caribbean stud poker (CSP) and poker (P). Most of the Indian casinos also offer bingo (BG).

The minimum gambling age is 21 at all Deadwood and Indian casinos (18 for bingo at Indian casinos). South Dakota’s casinos have very liberal rules about allowing minors in casinos and virtually all of the casinos will allow children to enter with their parents until about 8 p.m. Additionally, South Dakota is the only jurisdiction that will allow children to stand next to their parents while they are gambling.

For South Dakota tourism information call (800) 732-5682. For infor­mation on visiting Deadwood call the city’s Chamber of Commerce at (800) 999-1876, or visit their website at

Shown below is a list of all South Dakota casinos. Click on a casino name to see a page of detailed information about that particular casino.



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