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South Dakota Gambling Laws

South Dakota has a rich history of gambling going back to the gold-rush days. Much of this was centered on the small town of Deadwood, which was later reborn as a gambling-themed tourist destination. Gambling, whether it's horse-racing or slot machines, is regulated at the state level. Generally speaking, all legalized gambling within the state is limited to:

Legal Age to Gamble

The legal age of gambling is 21 years of age for Indian casinos and Deadwood casinos and 18 years of age for simulcast and live horse racing.


Federal Law requires the Lottery to report winnings of more than $600 to the IRS and to withhold 25 percent of any claim of more than $5,000.

Criminal Penalties for Illegal Gambling

Like many states, the definition of gambling is quite broad in South Dakota. At the same time the penalties for taking part in unregulated gambling are more severe than in other jurisdictions, starting with a class 2 misdemeanor - and going up from there. Hosting gambling is also covered by the law, as is the operation of a gambling machine.

Problem Gambling

The South Dakota Lottery provides thousands of dollars annually to the S.D. Department of Social Services to pay for problem gambling treatment services. The Lottery has provided more than $3.2 million to pay for problem gambling treatment services. Treatment is confidential.

Gambling on Native American Land in South Dakota

All gambling on Native American land is authorized by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), a federal law. There are 10 Indian casinos in South Dakota. These casinos are owned and operated by eight federally-recognized North Dakota tribes and one federally recognized South Dakota tribe.

The following table highlights the basics of South Dakota laws pertaining to gambling. See Details on State Gambling Laws for a general overview.

Code Section 23-5-110 et seq.; 23-4-101 et seq
Definition of Gambling Wagering anything of value upon the outcome of game of chance; maintaining gambling place or equipment.
Horse Racing Licensed horse racing legal. Off-track pari-mutuel wagering authorized at satellite locations more than 50 miles away from any licensed horse track.
Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting Licensed dog racing. Off-track pari-mutuel wagering authorized at satellite locations more than 50 miles away from any licensed dog track.
Casinos Allowed? Limited card games and slot machines authorized within city of Deadwood . Casinos allowed on Indian reservations.
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned Travel for sole purpose of gambling; persuading others to visit gambling places; and bookmaking are illegal. Ownership of antique slot machines and bingo sponsored by charitable organizations with no prize in excess of $2000 are legal. Internet gambling prohibited.
Gambling Addiction Assistance South Dakota Council on Problem Gambling

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a South Dakota gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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South Dakota Gaming Laws: Related Resources

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