SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota may not have the lights and glitz of Las Vegas or Reno, Nevada, but it does have plenty of places to gamble. Much of that is through lottery games or tickets throughout the state.
South Dakota ranks third in gaming machines per capita, according to WalletHub. It’s tied with Nevada and Oklahoma for the most casinos per capita.
It is also the second most friendly gaming state in the U.S., according to Wallethub.
The Online Casinos United States website describes the environment like this: “(There are) slot machines in bars and gas stations in towns of all sizes throughout the state. Sioux Falls and Rapid City, the state’s two largest cities, are inundated with video lottery casinos.”
Lottery, in particular, provides a big payoff for the state.
Lottery watch websites said South Dakota has one of the lowest payouts to players in the U.S. That means the state keeps more lottery money than it pays in winnings compared to other states.
The state has a payout of about 20%.
Lottery revenue has been steadily increasing in the state for at least 20 years.
Lottery officials reported on Thursday, June 10, the state was on pace to shatter a revenue record set last year. The state had already received $165 million with one month left in the fiscal year, KELOLAND’s Bob Mercer reported Thursday.
The figure is more than $40 million than the total $128.4 million in revenue in fiscal year 2020.
It’s also more than the state originally predicted for fiscal year 2021. The South Dakota Lottery Commission said in January the state was on pace for a record $131.1 million share of lottery money by June 30.
Video lottery is tops in South Dakota as the state has collected about $2 billion in revenue since it was established in 1989, according to the state.
The state collected $5,053,476 in instant ticket sales, $6,894,060 in lotto tickets and $116,483,325 in video lottery money.
Gambling helps to educate South Dakota students.
The state reported that $123 million of the $128.4 million revenue for fiscal year 2020 was put in the general fund to help pay for K-12 schools, state universities and technical colleges. Of the amount in the general fund amount, 49.5% goes to schools, universities and technical colleges.
The state lottery and gambling report for fiscal year 2020 said $4 million from the $128.4 million revenue was added to the capital construction fund, which can be used for rural water systems and similar projects.
The state collected $124,746,260 in fiscal year 2018. In fiscal year 2019, the amount was $129.4
South Dakota has about 9,100 video lottery machines at 1,324 retailers in at least 235 towns and cities in a state with 75,811 square miles.
Wallethub lists South Dakota as third most gambling addicted state right beyond leader Nevada and Mississippi in second place.