Casinos in Custer, South Dakota

Located just 20 miles southeast of Mt. Rushmore, the quaint, charming town of Custer, South Dakota is a convenient jumping off point for adventures into the Black Hills, Custer State Park and more.

And while nearby Deadwood (just an hour and 15 minute drive north), is a casino hotbed, boasting 25 casinos with over 2,000 slot machines, and 92 table games including blackjack, craps and roulette tables, Custer has just one very tiny slots-only casino.

There is one casino in Custer, South Dakota
There is one casino in Custer, South Dakota

The Bellagio it is not.

In fact, it’s simply a small area with a few video lottery terminals (more on that below). The casino (I couldn’t find the actual name of it), is attached to the Corner Pantry Conoco gas station on Mt. Rushmore Road, the main drag in town.

The casino is accessed either through outside doors, or through inside the convenience store.

Custer, SD Casino Games

As mentioned, you won’t find table games here. In fact, there are just a handful of electronic video games. Perhaps ten in all.

These are actually video lottery terminals, as opposed to Las Vegas-style slot machines. You cannot really see a big difference while playing, however these machines (VLTs), are a little different than the random number generated games found in Las Vegas, as the VLTs have a predetermined number of winners.

Many of these are multi-game machines, meaning you choose among a variety of games.

Custer's one casino has just a handful of electronic video gaming machines.
Custer’s one casino has just a handful of electronic video gaming machines.

Choices are traditional reel games, video poker games, and keno games.

During my visit, I played my usual Jacks or better video poker, however there were several different video poker games available.

I don’t recall exact denominations, however I played max-bet quarter video poker. I believe dollar video poker was available, however South Dakota Video Lottery rules state the maximum bet is $2 with the max payout being $1,000.

Something interesting I found playing, is that pairs were automatically held for me by the machine. This confused me on the first hand, when in my rush, I tried to “hold” but ended up accidently throwing away a winning pair of Kings! So just be aware your machine may be similar.

Per the South Dakota Lottery, Jacks or Better is an 8/5 game, rather than the higher-paying 9/6

To cash out, you’ll have to take your ticket to the attendant, as there isn’t a cash-out kiosk.

It’s a tiny, dark setting but if you love gambling as much as I do, it’s a nice little distraction after filling up on a road trip. There were a couple of older guys there mindlessly pounding away at the machines. One old-timer said, “I come here every day.”

Custer Casino Map

The black dice spot is the casino. The brown stars represent the other six locations in Custer that are licensed to have video lottery terminals.

Custer Casino Address & Phone Number

349 Mt. Rushmore Road
Custer, South Dakota 57730
(605) 673-4549

Slot Machines in Custer, South Dakota

In addition to the “casino” at the gas station, six other places in Custer are officially licensed “Video Lottery Establishments.” These are mostly bars or gas stations with a few machines off to the side. None have separate casino space.

According to the South Dakota Lottery, the following Custer locations are licensed to have electronic games:

The Frontier Grill  – 678 Mt. Rushmore Road

Gold Pan Saloon – 508 Mt. Rushmore Road

YesWay Gas Station– 49 N. 5th Street

AJ’s Ore Car Saloon – 537 Mt. Rushmore Road

Custer VFW Post 3442 – 721 Mt. Rushmore Road

Common Cents Store – 24 W. Mt Rushmore Road

Next Closest Casinos to Custer, SD

The real gaming action around these parts is in Deadwood, the Las Vegas of South Dakota. Here are the next nearest gambling options close to Custer.

Country Inn Bar & Casino – 18 miles north, in Hill City, SD. (VLTs only).

Rapid City, SD – 41 miles (Just under an hour’s drive) northeast of Custer. (Numerous VLT establishments).

Deadwood, SD – 56 miles due North. About an hour and 15 minute drive.

Other

  • The gas station/casino is directly across the street from the 1881 Courthouse Museum – a beautiful brick building listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The South Dakota Video Lottery homepage states the Corner Pantry Conoco casino is owned by MG Oil Company.
  • You must be 21 years or older to play these games. Smoking is not allowed in South Dakota bars, or restaurants.
  • According to most recent figures from the South Dakota Lottery,  there are 1,288 different locations in the state that are licensed to operate video lottery terminals.
  • There are over 9,000 of these video lottery terminals in South Dakota.
  • Games became legal in the state in 1989. Most recent figures from the state show that, annually, a little over $800 million dollars is put into these 9,000 plus machines.

(By Steve Beauregard. Photos copyright Gamboool.com)