When you think about places in the United States that are known for real money gambling, Las Vegas and Atlantic City usually come to mind. But the third choice on the list may be surprising to some people who don’t live in the state, as it’s South Dakota.
While South Dakota online gambling is not locally regulated, the Mount Rushmore State is actually the third in the country with legalized land-based gambling. The best South Dakota gambling sites offer internet betting and gaming, but they’re all based in other regions.
South Dakota is a prime example of how real money gambling can be beneficial and in unusual ways. Its bold move to legalize gambling in 1989 intended to save the town of Deadwood, and the plan worked.
While casino gambling started as more of an experiment, or maybe even an act of desperation, it’s moved full steam ahead. Currently, there are 20 casinos in Deadwood and nine tribal venues closer to the Nebraska border.
In addition to the casinos, SD also has charity gaming, and lottery tickets. Daily fantasy sports and advance deposit wagering are available, too. Additionally, voters will have their say in November 2020 when sports betting, including mobile access, is on the ballot.
When it comes to gambling online, South Dakota is behind many other states who have embraced the internet gambling revolution. There are no regulated SD gambling sites based within the state. However, there are several top-rated South Dakota gambling sites that are operating elsewhere.
If you’re a resident of South Dakota, you may have never investigated the possibility of real money gambling online. After all, you’re not going to see any tourism brochures or local advertising for casino, sports betting, or poker room websites.
There aren’t hundreds of online gambling providers clamoring for South Dakota players. But there are still enough that have decided to welcome residents of the Mount Rushmore State, thereby giving you options.
You shouldn’t to jump at the first real money gambling site that appears in your internet search, those. You need to make sure you only gamble online with safe and trustworthy sites, and they can hard to identify at the outset.
We’ve got you covered, as our team of experts has been on the job for years. Not only do we compile directories of websites that service each region around the world, but we rank them and find you the best ones.
There’s quite a bit of legwork, as we conduct complete reviews of every real money gambling site. Then, we factor in our impressions, player feedback, and any newsworthy items about the ownership or service.
It’s not a one-and-done process, though. We revisit, re-review, and reevaluate our findings regularly. That’s how you know that the best South Dakota gambling sites we recommend here are the ones you should be using.
Evaluating Online Gambling Sites for SD
Now that you know a little about our particular process and the basics of how we come up with our rankings and recommendations, it’s helpful to have a few more details.
After all, gambling online in South Dakota is entirely different than walking into a tribal or Deadwood casino.
Basics of Online Gambling in South Dakota
How do you fund your online gambling account?
Where does the site list the locations it services?
What are the casino games like?
Is there a sportsbook or a poker room?
Those are just a few top-of-mind questions that people have if they’ve never gambled online for real money.
If you want to know more about getting started, we have a separate section that will walk you through the process. And our reviews will also answer quite a few of your questions, as they cover everything about each service.
When we’re evaluating gambling sites for South Dakota players, we go through the same process as we would for any other region. But, additionally, we focus on the services for Americans, specifically financial transactions.
The biggest hurdle for US players to jump is moving money into their online gambling account. If you decide you want to play a few slots or place some other bets, you want to do it immediately. So, waiting for a check or money order to get to the casino and then be processed and credit isn’t going to be satisfying.
Our reviews touch on the quantity and variety of banking methods. We also look for any imposed fees, turnaround times for deposits and withdrawals, and any other information that players would be interested in knowing.
Ranking the Top Gambling Sites
The best real money gambling sites for South Dakota cover the gamut with cryptocurrency, debit and credit cards, prepaid cards, etc.
From there, we go through a long checklist to see if an operator meets or, preferably, exceeds the minimum criteria. Some of the things that we look for include the follow factors.
Properly licensed to offer real money gambling online
Good customer service
Clear terms and conditions
Bonuses and promotions
Positive player feedback
Longevity and reputable ownership
Through our ranking process, we gather up all of the essential data so that you’ve got details right in front of you. If you were to go through all the SD gambling sites to look for signs of good service or red flags yourself, it would take quite a while.
Instead, you can simply take a look at our rankings of the best South Dakota online gambling sites and know where to begin.
South Dakota’s Gambling History and Laws
The story of legal gambling in South Dakota starts like many other states. Pari-mutuel betting kicked things off in the mid-1900s.
From there, though, the Mount Rushmore State has written an entirely different book. Here’s how SD gambling laws have evolved over time.
South Dakota’s Mini Casinos
While everything was pretty quiet on the South Dakota gambling front for about 40 years, the 1980s ushered in an entirely new point of view. It started with the first state lottery in 1987 that quickly expanded into the first statewide VLT program. Virtual lottery terminals are in 1,400 locations across the state, turning gas stations, restaurants, and other small venues into mini casinos.
At the same time, legislators were looking for a way to revive their historical town named Deadwood.
Wild Bill and Calamity Jane
If the name sounds familiar, it’s because famed gambler Wild Bill Hickok was killed in Deadwood. He’s buried there, along with Calamity Jane. You wouldn’t want to see an Old West town with a sleek and modern new look.
So, instead, South Dakota legalized gambling but restricted it to Deadwood’s city limits. The area is now a boomtown for tourists and residents alike. There are restaurants, spas, and 20 casinos.
Deadwood is in the far western end of the state and attracts Wyomingites. But the southern part of SD is within distance of nine Native American casinos, also licensed for Vegas-style gaming.
Land-based gambling also encompasses charity gaming through bingo games and raffles. But the other options are hosted online.
Legal Online Gambling in SD
South Dakota doesn’t currently have any racetracks, so pari-mutuel bets are placed through advance deposit wagering websites.
ADW and DFS (daily fantasy sports) are designated as skill games by the state. Even though they’re not officially licensed as gambling entities, they’re still in full swing.
Betting on Sportsbooks
There’s another online gambling opportunity currently being debated, as sports betting is a hot topic in South Dakota. A bill that includes a mobile sports betting product has made it through to the voters. So, in November of 2020, South Dakotans decide on the fate of in-state sportsbooks.
State-sanctioned sports betting could launch as early as July of 2021. In the meantime, though, a number of online sportsbooks take wagers from the state. South Dakota residents can use sports betting services (or play casino games or poker) at any the top online gambling sites we recommend.
South Dakota Gambling Overview
Casinos: 20 casinos in Deadwood; Nine tribal casinos
Sports Betting: Proposed and up for a vote in November of 2020; the bill includes a provision for mobile sports betting
Lottery: Tickets are available at retailers across the state
Virtual Lottery Terminals: More than 1,400 venues in South Dakota offer up to 10 VLTs per location
Pari-Mutuel: Online only through advance deposit wagering sites
Daily Fantasy Sports: Considered to be a skill game; available, but not licensed through the state
Online Gambling: No in-state operators, other regulated and licensed options are based elsewhere
Differences Between Land-Based and Online Gambling
With legal casino gambling in South Dakota, you may be very familiar with in-person slots, table games, and poker play. But regardless of your expertise, you’re a newbie when you gamble online for the first time.
As there are gambling machines in casinos, you may not think that things are all that different in the virtual world, but there’s more to the service than the betting opportunities.
Cash or No Cash
Put your cash away when you’re using South Dakota gambling sites. Sure, cash is king in land-based gambling. But when it comes to gambling online, you’ll need some alternatives.
Even though you may prefer using cards, read through the financial services information. You may find out that you can deposit with a card, but your payouts may be issued via checks, which take longer.
Comps and Bonuses
There are also distinct differences when it comes to bonuses. You can’t claim any comps, like free meals or rooms through an online gambling site. However, the operators have a workaround by offering deposit matches.
Casino deposit bonuses give you something like a 200% incentive. So, if you deposit $50, you’ll get $100 in bonus money. But terms and conditions are also different when you play online. That bonus cash comes with a pretty high rollover, typically something like 30x. You can’t reap any benefit from the incentive until you bet the deposit and bonus 30x or more.
Online sports betting bonuses tend to be a little lower, but so do the rollover requirements.
While some of the games like slots resemble their land-based counterparts, table games aren’t as familiar. Instead of playing with others, you’re betting against the computer when you play something like blackjack or table poker.
The exception is if you play at a casino with live dealer tables. Then, you’re sitting at a virtual table with other players, and an actual dealer deals the cards.
Start Gambling Online in South Dakota
South Dakota has learned to embrace casino gaming, as it’s saved the town of Deadwood. But online casino games aren’t welcome in that same town. The 20 gambling venues appreciate exclusivity. However, if you don’t live in Deadwood or the southern part of SD, you don’t enjoy the same accessibility. That’s where online gambling comes into play.
You’ll find that some reputable sites that have opened their doors to South Dakotans, so you’ve got some options to gamble online for real money in SD. We suggest that you be discriminating, though.
So, check out our recommendations, read reviews, and make sure that you only use the best South Dakota gambling sites.