S.D. video lottery revenue is on record pace

Capitol News Bureau
KELO Money

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Betting has been surging at South Dakota’s video lottery terminals lately. Players lost or left behind more than $90.6 million in the privately-owned machines from July through October.

That’s $12.1 million more net machine income than for the similar four-month stretch in 2019.

State government takes 49.5% of it. At the current pace, the state’s share is projected to hit a record $131.1 million by June 30, 2021, when the current fiscal year ends.

For perspective, that’s in a state with about 899,000 people.

Video lottery transferred $116.5 million to state government’s treasury for the past fiscal year, executive director Norm Lingle told the South Dakota Lottery Commission on Thursday. That was a record.

Betting slumped hard during the spring as COVID-19 disrupted South Dakota’s economy. But state-sanctioned gambling eventually roared back, both at video lottery establishments and Deadwood casinos.

The new line-up style of video lottery machines is attracting players, and operators have been installing more, according to Jordon Kitts, director of security and video lottery.

There are now 4,634 line-ups and 4,478 legacy machines. The line-ups passed the legacies during the summer in numbers.

Line-ups bring in more per machine, too. The latest data show line-ups netting a daily average $98.77 and legacies $51.23.

Video lottery has been one of the largest sources of revenue for state government’s general fund after the sales tax in recent years.

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