Deadwood gaming jumps nearly 8 percent

September 27, 2018

DEADWOOD — Gaming made a rebound in August, bucking a downward trend that has plagued the industry most of the year, according to monthly data released Monday by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming,

“Deadwood gaming numbers were surprisingly strong in August and wiped-out the losses on the year,” said Mike Rodman, executive director of the Deadwood Gaming Association. “We are extremely pleased that our market has stabilized and hopefully poised for growth in the future.“

Gamers visiting Deadwood in August dropped $126 million in machines and on tables, a 7.69 percent increase compared to August 2017, resulting in roughly $11 million in taxable adjusted gross revenues for the industry in August.

Of that, 9 percent, or $981,531, was collected as state tax and distributed to various entities across the state.

Under the handle comparison category, in August, table games had a handle of roughly $8.3 million, up 12 percent compared to August 2017 levels. Under this same category, slot machines had a handle of roughly $118 million in August, up 7.42 percent compared to August 2017. Thus far this year, table games have had a handle of $47.3 million, a two percent increase compared to 2017 levels, and slot machines have had a handle of roughly $701 million, less than a 1 percent decline compared to 2017 levels. Thus far in 2018, the collective handle in Deadwood has been roughly $748.2 million, less than a 1 percent decline year to date.

As stated in the report, approximately 2,871 slot machines accounted for roughly $118 million in coin in, with gamers winning around $107 million with an estimated average payout of 91 percent, leaving a statistical win of around $10.3 million for the slot category. The two largest contributors were 2,217 penny machines, with $85 million in coin-in, which generated roughly $8 million in statistical win and a 91 percent payout to players, followed by 258 dollar machines, with $12.2 million in coin-in, which generated roughly $1 million in statistical win, and a 92 percent payout to players.

With 97 tables reporting revenue, table games generated a drop of $8.3 million in August and an estimated statistical win of $1.3 million, with an average payout to players of 83 percent. The leading revenue generator in this category was black jack, with 41 tables reporting a drop of roughly $4 million and a statistical win of $485,406, with an 87 percent payout to players.

Five craps tables in town generated a drop of $418,986, a statistical win of $126,707, and a 70 percent payout to players; seven roulette tables in town generated a drop of $690,958, a statistical win of $89,835, and an 87 percent payout to players.

Rodman said Deadwood gaming operators rewarded players with $1,485,181 in “free-play” for the month of August.

Turning to Deadwood’s hospitality industry, Deadwood hotel occupancy rates were flat in August when compared with August 2017 numbers.

According to monthly data released Friday by Deadwood‘s City Finance Office, hotels in Deadwood had an occupancy rate of 72.06 percent for August 2018, which is a 0.19 percent decrease when compared with August 2017.

“Because of increased hotel capacity, Deadwood rented 1,946 additional room nights this August when compared to August 2017,“ Rodman said. “These additional visitors to Deadwood have had a positive impact on Deadwood gaming numbers.”

Deadwood‘s August occupancy rate decrease was behind the national August hotel occupancy increase of 1.2 percent.

“Deadwood’s occupancy rate slightly beat the national occupancy rate of 71.4 percent for August 2018,” Rodman added.

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