Is South Dakota ‘Gambling Friendly’? You Bet!
Gambling isn't just something people do in Las Vegas or Atlantic City anymore. Legal gaming is in nearly every U.S. state, and is now a $240 billion industry. And some of the negatives associated with the pastime are showing up in South Dakota.
The website WalletHub used 13 key metrics to compare all 50 states to determine where the problem of excessive gambling is most prevalent. What they found was that the Mount Rushmore is the second most gambling-addicted state in the U.S., trailing only Nevada.
Their findings rank South Dakota #1 in 'gambling friendliness' based on the most casinos per capita (tied with Nevada and Oklahoma), highest lottery sales per capita (tied with Delaware, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and West Virginia), and the second most gaming machines per capita (behind only Nevada).
Despite the high friendliness and gambling addiction rankings for South Dakota, the state does surprisingly well in social impact categories. South Dakota is fifth from the bottom in the percentage of adults with gambling disorders, and tied for first in the states with the fewest gambling-related arrests per capita.
Gambling disorder, as the affliction is known, affects slightly more than two percent of all U.S. adults. According to a study by the National Council on Problem Gambling, compulsive gambling costs an estimated $6 billion per year.