Deadwood History Link

Sharing the Growth

Deadwood’s neighbors and the state as a whole share the benefits from Deadwood gaming. Exactly how does South Dakota benefit?

Formula 1989-1995

Prior to 1995 Deadwood gaming taxes and license fees were distributed in the following fashion.

  • All License fees to Deadwood
  • Gaming tax revenue
    • 40% goes to South Dakota Tourism
    • 10% goes to Lawrence County
    • 50% goes to State Gaming Commission. They deduct their expenses of approximately $1,000,000 per year and they deduct $100,000 for the Deadwood fund in Pierre. The remainder is returned to Deadwood

Formula 1995-Present

In 1995, the Legislature changed the law so that economic growth in Deadwood would be shared with neighboring communities and the state as a whole.

The 1995 legislation capped Deadwood’s share of gaming taxes and license fees at $6.8 million. Everything above that amount will be shared as follows:

  • 70% goes to the state general fund
  • 10% goes to school districts with land in Lawrence County. This reduces state aid dollar for dollar, allowing more money to be distributed statewide
  • 10% goes to cities in Lawrence County other than Deadwood
  • 10% goes to Deadwood

The Numbers

In calendar year 2003 Deadwood received $5,850,000 from device licenses and $950,000 from the gaming tax.

In calendar year 2003, based on the 1995 formula:

  • The state general fund received $1,026,704
  • Lawrence County School Districts received $146,672
  • Lawrence County cities received $146,672
  • Deadwood received $146,672
  • South Dakota State Department of Tourism $2,183,589
  • Lawrence County $545,897

In calendar year 2003 the state of South Dakota collected $5,458,972.45 as the 8% tax on gaming in Deadwood. Deadwood received $1,096,672 or 20% of the tax collected, and 80% of the gaming tax was distributed to other governmental bodies throughout the state.

In 2003 total gaming revenue from the 8% tax and the license fees was $11,308,972.45. Deadwood received $6,946,672.02 or 61.4% of the gaming revenue generated in Deadwood.

Additional Figures

Additionally, the City of Deadwood does the following:

  • Deadwood pays 100% of the cost of regulating gaming, which is approximately $1,000,000 per year.
  • Deadwood pays $40,000 a year to fund a staff position in the State Office of History for a total to date of $160,000.
  • Since 1994 Deadwood has annually funded a grant fund in the State Office of History in the amount of $100,000 a year for a total to date of $1,000,000.
  • In 2000, Deadwood funded a $250,000 State Historic Publications Fund in the State Office of History for historic publications statewide.
  • In 2002 and 2003, Deadwood dispersed a $250,000 grant/loan fund each year for historic preservation projects outside of Deadwood, provided they can show a reasonable historic connection to Deadwood so as to satisfy the language of the state Constitution, which requires that “the entire net municipal proceeds of gaming shall be devoted to the historic restoration and preservation of Deadwood.” This fund will be dispersing another $250,000 worth of grants in 2004 for a total to date of $750,000.

For a more detailed version of this document, with data for years prior to 2003, please click below: