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South Dakota’s Deadwood Sportsbooks Issued Many Fines Months After Launch

Posted on: December 13, 2021, 08:43h. 

Last updated on: December 13, 2021, 09:48h.

Deadwood sportsbooks began taking bets in mid-September. Less than three months later, oddsmakers are facing an array of fines for violating state regulations.

The BetMGM Sportsbook at Tin Lizzie in Deadwood is seen in October 2021. Gaming regulators in South Dakota say multiple sportsbooks have violated sports betting regulations since such operations began in September. (Image: South Dakota Public Broadcasting)

Sports betting is presently operating on the premises of five Deadwood casinos — Cadillac Jack’s Gaming Resort, Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort, Gold Dust Casino, Mustang Sally’s, and Deadwood Mountain Grand. Sportsbooks are soon coming to The Lodge at Deadwood, Gold Country Inn, and Deadwood Station Bunkhouse.

But the South Dakota Commission on Gaming says there have been numerous incidences of regulatory sportsbook infractions since the first legal wager was placed on Sep. 9. The state gaming agency explains that multiple sportsbooks have failed to adhere to the $1,000 maximum limit on sports bets.

During the 2020 election, South Dakota voters passed a constitutional ballot referendum with 58 percent support to legalize sports betting in Deadwood. Sports wagering is only allowed within the limits of the historic Black Hills Gold Rush town, as well as on tribal sovereign land owned by Native Americans that have Class III gaming compacts with the state.

Sports Betting Violations

The South Dakota Commission on Gaming says there have been at least six reports of licensed Deadwood sportsbooks taking single bets in excess of $1,000. Four of the five operational sportsbooks have been cited.

Gaming regulators say employees at Tin Lizzie’s BetMGM Sportsbook wrongly accepted single bets of $1,300, $1,500, and $3,000 on NFL games. Gold Dust facilitated a $1,550 bet on an NFL game, too. Cadillac Jack’s is said to have printed $1,300 and $3,000 NFL ticket slips for bettors. Deadwood Mountain Grand oddsmakers, gaming regulators claim, erroneously accepted futures action on the 2022 MLB World Series.

South Dakota’s regulations on sports betting allow futures betting on the NBA, NFL, and NHL, but oddly not the MLB. That will likely change in the near future. But for now, such MLB futures bets are prohibited.

However, the sportsbooks are not facing steep fines. Instead, the gaming commission fined the oddsmakers anywhere from $150 to $300 for the wrongful bets.

Tin Lizzie, however, was issued a $2,500 penalty for voiding a $1,500 bet on an NFL game and not immediately informing the gaming commission of the regulatory infraction. If Tin Lizzie manages to avoid another regulatory failure for the next 12 months, the gaming commission will refund $1,500 of the $2,500 punishment.

Sports Betting Driving Business

Despite the sportsbook fines, legal sports gambling is helping Deadwood casinos.

The Deadwood Gaming Association reported that September’s gross gaming revenue (GGR) climbed 14 percent from 2020, with sports betting cited for playing a role in the gain. Mike Rodman, DGA president, added that Deadwood resorts experienced substantially higher occupancy rates in September 2021 compared with September 2020.

October was even better, as year-over-year GGR climbed 20.5 percent. Oddsmakers took more than $815,000 in bets that month.

Rodman says the gaming association will seek additional sports betting authorization during the South Dakota Commission on Gaming’s planned public meeting later this week. Along with MLB futures, Rodman says the association will request more offerings in college sports, parlay betting, and in-game wagering.

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