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Keeping VLT split at 50-50 in South Dakota
Published:  21 April, 2009

South Dakota lawmakers have recommended that the state keep its split with the video poker industry on a 50-50 basis. Currently, South Dakota receives about $112 million annually from video poker.

After a special panel studied the possible change to a 70-30 split in favor of the state, they determined that increasing the state's share would have both positive and negative effects. The South Dakota Treasury may see an additional $40 million in its coffers, but such a dramatic increase would also drive many South Dakota amusement operators out of business.

However, Governor Mike Rounds did sign two bills into law on March 10. They are expected to reward the state government with an additional $1 million from raising the tax on adjusted gross revenue Deadwood gambling. The laws were a compromise between Rounds and the Deadwood gaming industry. Rounds advocated the penny slots, but wanted it as part of a higher annual license fee on slot machines and poker and blackjack tables.

A second bill allows Deadwood to swap a number of city-owned nickel slot machines for penny slots, which some officials claim are more popular. The move is expected to raise another $500,000 a year.

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