- Associated Press - Monday, January 30, 2017

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) - Gambling in Deadwood fell 25 percent in December compared to the same month in 2015, and the industry finished the year with a 5 percent drop in cumulative totals.

The Deadwood Gaming Association’s executive director, Mike Rodman, told the Black Hills Pioneer (http://bit.ly/2kLjSpe ) that the drop was “an alarming end to a disappointing year.” He said Deadwood’s 2016 adjusted gross revenues of just over $99 million were the lowest since 2007.

“Despite good weather conditions for our winter sports enthusiasts in December, we were unable to capitalize on that market,” Rodman said.

Celebrity Hotel and Casino’s general manager, Ken Gienger, said he’s not surprised by the decline. He says the numbers give Deadwood a benchmark to improve on.

“This is a reflection of people being conservative with their extra income and not exceeding their budget,” Gienger said. “I am looking forward to 2017, and I know Deadwood will use the experiences we all learn during 2016 to help us make 2017 better.”

For the month of December Deadwood Gaming operators rewarded players with $1,329,802.36 in “free-play.”

The South Dakota Commission on Gaming released its monthly summary last week. It shows gamers visiting Deadwood in December dropped $61.4 million in machines and on tables, bringing the total amount wagered for 2016 to $1.1 billion.

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Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, http://www.bhpioneer.com

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