All’s Good in Deadwood
By earl
The casino business in this historic Black Hills town has “improved markedly since a $100 bet limit was enacted 2 1/2 years ago.” The restriction, a raise in the limit set by the state constitution, has also spurred the expansion of casinos in town, along with new hotels.

Gambling was legalized in Deadwood on November 1, 1989. But the max bet then for card games and slot machines was fixed at $5 per. The local gambling industry pushed for years to increase the limit, and in 2000 state voters passed the change in the constitution.

“Many seasoned gamblers were eager to ante larger bets,” said Tom Rensch, General Manager of the Silverado, Deadwood's largest casino. “The smaller bet limit was so restrictive that it kept some gamblers away,” Rensch said. “The Silverado, which finished a huge expansion in August 2000, has 16 card tables and 235 slot machines. It features the town's only $100 slot machine, which offers a $100,000 jackpot,” Rensch added.

South Dakota Gaming Commission records show that gross gambling revenue was $51.8 million in fiscal year 2000 and had reached $53.4 million in 2001, and $64.1 million in 2002.

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