Deadwood Gaming Association responds and offers their opinion why they should get sports betting

In a recent post, I raised the issue of the Deadwood Gaming Association asking for sports betting, yet another bump in what they can offer the public, and asked what people thought – whether it should get a yea, a nay, or if there was another way.

Last night, I received a response to my question from Mike Rodman, Executive Director of the Deadwood Gaming Association offering his opinion as to why Deadwood should be the one to reap the benefits of legalized sports betting:


I would like to respond to your post today on the news that the Deadwood Gaming Association has submitted a proposal for wagering on sporting events to the Attorney General’s office.

I would suggest that rather than the gloss coming off Deadwood as a travel destination, the world and people’s expectations have changed over the last 29 years when Deadwood became the third jurisdiction in the country to have gaming.

Like any other business, Deadwood must evolve and meet the expectations of its customers by providing the products and services that they are looking for and that other destinations are providing. I don’t believe that anyone in South Dakota would expect that Deadwood should not have the ability to make the necessary business decisions that allows them to compete on a regional or even national scale by meeting customer preferences.  The changes that Deadwood has made over these last 29 years are the same as any other industry’s necessity to remain relevant.

Since the Supreme Court overturned the federal ban on sports wagering in May, several states have moved forward with sport wagering.  Deadwood believes that with the proliferation of wagering on sporting events across the country, it will force any legitimate, competing gaming market to adopt this game type to stay competitive.  We are asking the voters of the state to allow an additional game type to an already established and regulated gaming jurisdiction here in South Dakota.  Deadwood looks at this as a product development effort to help maintain Deadwood’s relevance as a gaming destination.

I am including the Deadwood gaming tax breakdown for fiscal 2018, which shows where Deadwood’s gaming tax currently goes.  Deadwood gaming tax revenue has for many years covered the regulatory expense of the horse racing industry in South Dakota.  In Las Vegas, sports wagering is approximately one and a half percent of gaming revenues.  Given Deadwood generates a $100 million dollars annually, we anticipate around $1-$1.5 million in sports wagering revenues.

Wagering on sporting events is already happening in South Dakota, just illegally.  We believe many South Dakotans want the opportunity to wager on their favorite sporting events, but they want to do it in a safe, regulated and legal environment.  Deadwood wants to give them that opportunity.

Thank you,
Mike Rodman
Executive Director

And you can also see the chart that Mike provided:

Thoughts? Do you think the Deadwood Gaming Association makes their case?

12 Replies to “Deadwood Gaming Association responds and offers their opinion why they should get sports betting”

  1. Anonymous

    He argues that since an activity is already taking place illegally, it should be legalized.

    Of course it’s not his only argument, but it is an argument he makes.

    He also argues that we should let casinos do it because they’d make money if we did.

    These arguments are presented in a shallow and amoral fashion.

  2. Anonymous

    What’s next, prostitution?
    I think it’s absolutely crazy how much money they get to keep locally. After how many years of that kind of money the streets should be paved with gold!
    It would be interesting to see where all that “ preservation” money went!

    1. duggersd

      That is what I was thinking. Why not tax an activity that is happening anyway? Besides, this would bring more men to the city and when they are not partaking, they can gamble.

      1. Anonymous

        This line of thinking naturally leads to arguments supporting prostitution.

        What kind of perverse government wants to incerease access to vice in order to fill the tax coffers?

        Under God the People Rule

        1. duggersd

          First, you are thinking I am advocating prostitution. I am not. I was replying to a comment about how prostitution is a logical course based upon the reasoning in use by the people wanting to expand gambling.

  3. Brian

    This is a bad bet…voting NO …but hope it doesn’t get any signatures but I bet 90% of the signatures are from Lawrence County which is another reason this ballot measure process needs reformed.

  4. a friend of education

    Mr. Rodman, IMO, makes some valid points but I don’t find anywhere in his letter a cogent defense of exclusivity. Assuming, arguendo, that we should permit sports wagering in Deadwood, why must we forbid it to Yankton?

  5. Jack Stone

    In a state where video lottery is not only allowed but encouraged, it boggles the mind that sports wagering wouldn’t be treated the same

    Truly insane

    1. Anonymous

      so open it up to the whole state…not just Deadwood…once we agree to let Deadwood have it they are going to make deals with the tribes and then Deadwood has a lot of competition already….might as well let it be legal all or none


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.