South Dakota Has Added 567 More Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs), Leading to Over $1.17 Billion Gambled in the Year

December 9, 2023 | Gaming Machines

MADISON, S.D. (December 8, 2023) – The proliferation of video lottery machines in South Dakota, the revenue generated, and the challenges faced by some communities in managing their growth is gaining considerable exposure in the local media.

South Dakota has added 567 more video lottery terminals (VLTs), leading to over $1.17 billion gambled in the year. The state earned a record-setting $163 million in revenue from video lottery, constituting about 91% of the state’s total lottery revenue.

Some South Dakota communities, including Rapid City, Aberdeen, Mitchell, Watertown, Yankton, Sioux Falls, and Brookings, have implemented caps on video lottery licenses within city limits. Concerns are raised about the unexpected growth of casinos and the transformation of some areas into gambling centers.

Brookings and Sioux Falls have implemented population-based caps on licenses, allowing one new license for each additional 1,000 people.

Yankton is looking to reform its regulations as it discovered that its current ordinance violates state law regarding the types of licenses associated with video lottery.


Video lottery bets have surpassed $1 billion annually in South Dakota for the past three years.

Yankton’s cap adjustment discussions involve considerations of market value, with the market value of a malt beverage license with a video lottery endorsement reaching about $150,000. There is a debate about how to balance the needs of current license holders, new businesses, and the community’s interests.

A failed legislative attempt (SB-117) aimed to increase the video lottery betting limit and jackpot, with another attempt expected in the upcoming session. South Dakotans have voted four times in favor of keeping video lottery, despite some concerns about the negative impacts at the local level.

Addiction experts highlight the addictive nature of video lottery, citing its fast-paced games and easy accessibility. Some experts note a connection between video lottery gambling and other forms of addiction, such as methamphetamine use.

Compulsive gambling patients, often associated with video lottery, are reported to have a higher tendency towards suicidal thoughts. The cost and impact of video lottery, including its connection to addiction, are suggested to be inadequately measured and articulated in South Dakota.

This highlights the complex issues surrounding the expansion of video lottery machines, including regulatory challenges, social concerns, and potential negative impacts on public health.

SOURCE: LI Contributor.

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