A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in South Dakota

You may not expect it, but South Dakota is a very progressive state when it comes to gambling. This state was among the first to legalize land-based casinos and continues to operate them to this day. Aside from online gambling, almost everything is legal and very, very widespread. Let’s look at how this came to be.

The legalization spree started in 1986, when South Dakota created a state lottery. A year later, their legislature passed a bill that allowed bingo and raffle games, but only for non-profit organizations with licenses. In 1989, video lottery terminals were added, but that was only the start of the expansion.

The very same year, attempting to save the historic town of Deadwood, South Dakota decided to open the town to casinos, with a $5 maximum bet on any game. This progressed into a $100 betting ceiling a few years later, and when South Dakota banned smoking in the Deadwood casinos, they asked for $1000 as a maximum bet – and they got it in 2012. Today, there are over 1400 ‘casinos’ all over the state, as the legal definition for a casino is pretty much every establishment that offers any type of gambling alongside alcohol. If you have a permit to pour alcohol, you can place video lottery machines in your place of business and these can spread to keno, slots or poker games – enough to classify them as casinos.

In 1990, off-track betting was allowed on dog and horse races via simulcast. While there are no dog races in the Mount Rushmore State and horse races are few and far between, today’s citizens can bet on races in other states just as easily. In 1993, the first agreements with the Native American tribes were reached and South Dakota got nine new tribal casinos in a matter of years, all located on tribal land.

South Dakota is in no rush to legalize online gambling and especially online casinos. On the contrary – they introduced legislation banning the practice specifically and are unlikely to overturn that ruling any time soon. However, daily fantasy sports continue to operate in this state as they do not consider DFS to be a game of chance, but one of skill. The South Dakotan government has not refuted this so it’s safe to presume this type of online gaming is legal.

South Dakota Gambling Overview:

  • Year South Dakota regulated offline and online gambling: 1989 for offline gambling, online gambling is illegal under the original laws.
  • South Dakota gambling age: 18 for lottery, 21 for everything else
  • Legal online casino games in South Dakota: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 1400+, out of which 15 are full-blooded commercial casinos.
  • Number of tribal casinos: 9
  • Top online casinos South Dakota-wide:

Gambling in South Dakota: What’s Legal?

To put it shortly – anything except online gambling and social gambling. There are 15 commercial casinos, 9 tribal casinos and over a thousand tiny ‘casinos’. Also, there are live horse races at summer fairs in South Dakota and you can bet on them through a pari-mutuel system but for most of the year, you’ll have to bet online on races from other states. Sports betting is illegal.

The state has a flourishing lottery and bingo systems, offering keno, raffles, pull-tabs and scratch-offs. Their lottery participates in inter-state draws like the Powerball and Mega Millions. Daily fantasy sports and esports haven’t been singled out as legal, but the government refused to classify them as illegal either, so you can play them safely. Smoking is banned in Deadwood and its casinos, but tribal casinos may choose to ignore this rule.

Name Address Opening Hours Games Dress Code Phone Number Website
Royal River Casino & Hotel – Flandreau 607 S. Veterans St. 24/7 Over 400 slots and table games N/A 1-877-912-LUCK www.royalrivercasino.com
Silverado Casino – Deadwood 709 Upper Main St. 24/7 Over 400 slots and table games N/A 800-584-7005 www.silveradofranklin.com
Dakota Sioux Casino – Watertown 16415 Sioux Conifer Rd. 24/7 Over 400 slots and table games N/A 1 800 658 4717 www.dakotasioux.com

Online Casinos in South Dakota: What You Should Know

There are no online casinos in South Dakota and with all the land-based, offline gambling going on in the state, as well as the rich tradition of this type of gambling in Deadwood, there is a chance that the Mount Rushmore State will legalize online casinos and gambling. We shouldn’t be too optimistic as the state depends economically on its gambling industry and wouldn’t want to jeopardize one of their few sources of funding.

Are South Dakota Online Casinos Legal for Non-South Dakota Residents?

What types of games do South Dakota online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in South Dakota if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in South Dakota?

  • Yes, but you may get in trouble with the law.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in South Dakota

You can’t as none exist. However, you’re free to gamble in any of the casinos in Deadwood or on tribal lands. If you really want to gamble online, you may travel to New Jersey or Pennsylvania, but for now there are no prospects of South Dakota legalizing this activity.

The Bottom Line on South Dakota Online Gambling

South Dakota may have been the third state to legalize casinos, but it’s definitely not going to be even in the first ten that will legalize online gambling. The state has no income tax and depends on the gambling revenue so it will fiercely protect that market. With new casinos opening every day, who knows what South Dakota’s gambling scene will look like in 10 years.