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Issue Date: Vol. 52, No. 8, August 2012, Posted On: 7/27/2012

South Dakota VLTs Rebounding As Lottery Marks 25 Years

Marcus Webb
TAGS: South Dakota video lottery, VLTs, South Dakota Lottery, scratch-off, operator-run video lottery terminals, amusement business, coin machine operator, gaming business

South Dakota Lottery

PIERRE, SD -- The South Dakota Lottery is marking its 25th anniversary with a months-long celebration and a new logo. The state began selling scratch-off tickets in 1987, and operator-run video lottery terminals followed two years later.

The state's VLT operators have experienced more than their share of ups and downs in recent years. In 2009, annual VLT revenues began dropping for the first time, partly due to the weak national economy. Last year a statewide smoking ban exacerbated this decline to 35% or more compared to the prior year.

But during 2011, the industry won its case in the state Supreme Court, freeing them from the restrictions of local zoning ordinances. This year, operators have increased VLT revenues up to 30% per unit when new types of games are installed. | SEE STORY

The South Dakota Lottery currently licenses more than 9,000 video lottery terminals. The machines contribute more than $100 million to South Dakota's annual government funds -- in good years, up to 10% of the state's budget.

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