South Dakota Lottery Projects Decrease In VLT Revenue In 2024

South Dakota expects video lottery revenue to take a slight dip this year. Recent estimates put the state’s share of earnings at $162.8 million, according to the South Dakota Lottery.

In comparison, last year’s state revenue from video lottery terminals (VLTs) was $163.2 million.

What does the estimated drop in VLT earnings mean?

The dip may seem small, but it is significant. From 2015 through 2019, South Dakota video lottery revenue saw steady annual increases. The state’s fiscal year starts July 1 and ends June 30. In those four fiscal years, video lottery earnings for the state jumped between $2 and $8 million annually.

Even amid the worst days of the COVID-19 pandemic, VLT revenue bumped in South Dakota. The year 2021 saw an increase to $150.1 million in 2021, up from $117.4 million the year prior.

This slight drop in revenue is the first time South Dakota VLT earnings have decreased year over year since 2010.

As of this writing, South Dakota has 10,231 VLTs across 1,326 licensed providers. Only locations with a license to serve alcohol can host VLTs, so most of the host locations are bars and restaurants.

VLTs are tied to the lottery, but they don’t operate the same way as other electronic lottery options, like instant win games. Instead, they look and feel much more like slot machines found at casinos.

South Dakota Lottery is optimistic

The South Dakota Lottery issued its annual report, which includes earnings and revenue numbers, plus statements and figures from various areas of the business.

Norm Lingle, Executive Director of the South Dakota Lottery, said:

“Our strong year equated to more than $178 million to the State’s General Fund, which supports local K-12 schools, state universities, and technical institutes. We also provided more than $3.47 million to the State’s Capital Construction Fund, which is used to fund rural water systems, community drinking water, wastewater improvement projects, and recycling and waste disposal programs.”

The report doesn’t outright mention the revenue dip, indicating the lottery is still optimistic about the year ahead.


Photo by PlayiLottery

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a contributor for PlayiLottery who spent six years working at Scientific Games, one of the world's leading lottery operators. He writes for a handful of Catena Media sites, covering online lottery, iGaming, sports betting, and more. A prolific writer in the US gaming market, Cole also has bylines at iGaming Business, ICE 365, and IGB North America. You can email him at [email protected].
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