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State lottery and gambling regulators said Monday they were not aware this sign was being displayed at a convenience store in Brookings County last month. Slot machines are legal for general gambling purposes only at reservation casinos and Deadwood casinos. The new video lottery machines resemble modern slot machines. (Bob Mercer/Republic)

Sign in Volga advertises 'slot machine' video lottery terminals

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News Mitchell,South Dakota 57301 http://www.mitchellrepublic.com/sites/default/files/styles/square_300/public/fieldimages/18/0731/lottery-slot-sign.jpg?itok=YPP9JnC8
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Sign in Volga advertises 'slot machine' video lottery terminals
Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

PIERRE -- At least one business that offers South Dakota Lottery products recently has been advertising new slot machines, too.

The sign came to the attention of a motorist during a fuel stop at a Volga convenience store in Brookings County last month.

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Slot machines are generally legal only at Deadwood casinos and at reservation casinos in South Dakota. The municipality of Volga doesn't fit either legal description.

Contacted about the matter, South Dakota's two state administrators for gambling regulation said they weren't previously aware of the sign.

Norman Lingle, the administrator for the South Dakota Lottery, and Larry Eliason, the executive secretary for the South Dakota Commission on Gaming that regulates Deadwood casinos, said they hadn't seen the sign.

They were contacted about the sign Wednesday. They responded Monday. In separate sets of answers, they indicated they hadn't received any complaints and hadn't sent anybody to check on the matter.

Eliason said gaming commission rules didn't cover such an occurrence. Asked about the state laws limiting slot machines to Deadwood, he said he wouldn't feel comfortable swearing out a criminal complaint based only on a sign.

The sign, which said "New Slot Machines Available!" was displayed adjacent to the store's South Dakota Lottery signage for lotto games in the store's front window. The store sells lotto products and offers video lottery terminals.

The South Dakota Lottery last year authorized video gambling machines, which are legal statewide, to offer new line-up games that are similar to what's commonly seen on slot machines in casinos.

Deadwood gambling officials strongly opposed the rule change by the lottery commission, because of competitive concerns, but didn't file a lawsuit over the matter.

The Legislature last winter increased the maximum bet in Deadwood casinos to $1,000, effective July 1. The bet limit has been $100.

Legislators refused to increase the bet limit for video lottery, which remains at $2 per play.

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