State Commission on Gaming figures show gross revenue of $107.4 million, up from $100.9 million in 2011 and $106.2 million in 2010.
A voter-approved smoking ban that took effect in South Dakota in November 2010 was widely blamed for the drop in revenue in 2011. Lead-Deadwood Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Chuck Turbiville tells the Rapid City Journal the report shows it’s time to stop blaming the smoking ban every time there is a dip in revenue.
Saloon owner Louie Lalonde says the smoking ban has opened the door to people who wouldn’t come gamble because of the smoking in casinos.
Deadwood Gaming Association President Tom Nelson says he’s not ready to concede that casinos have overcome the smoking ban.