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Online Sports Betting Remains Illegal in South Carolina

The first attempts to introduce sports betting legislation in South Carolina date back to 2017 before the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting. Lawmakers introduced House Bill 3102 to amend the state constitution to allow for it. This would have limited betting to professional sporting events, with players placing all bets at predetermined locations.

Lawmakers introduced three different bills about sports betting on Jan. 8, 2019, but all three of those bills saw little action. HJR3409 and SJR57 were a pair of bills proposing to amend the South Carolina constitution to include language that legalized sports betting.

Lawmakers referred both of those bills to the Judiciary Committee after their first reading. Another bill, SJR71, was a bill that proposed creating a gambling study committee in South Carolina. It would have researched the potential revenue amounts that SC would see from sports betting to get more lawmakers’ support. They also referred that bill to the Judiciary Committee on Jan. 8.

There Are No Land-Based Casinos in South Carolina

South Carolina does not allow land-based casinos or even wagering at horse racing tracks. For residents hoping for an online casino to open in SC, there are plenty of other steps that legislators must take first. The state has some very restrictive laws when it comes to gambling of any form, and legislators will need to change them before any residents can gamble legally.

Gambling in the Palmetto State was extremely popular in the 1990s, with players doing all forms of gambling through video gaming machines. There were over 29,000 video gaming machines in South Carolina by the end of the decade, but the state shut down the gambling industry before the turn of the century.

State lawmakers passed a bill in 1999 that outlawed these gaming machines, barring a voter referendum to make playing them legal. Before the vote could take place, the South Carolina Supreme Court shut down the referendum, which then deemed video gaming machines illegal. There have been efforts made in recent years to explore expanded gambling in SC, but lawmakers have not yet introduced any new bills.

A Wait to Play Poker in South Carolina

Residents hoping that online poker becomes legal in South Carolina have a long wait ahead of them. The state currently has no commercial or tribal casinos, which severely limits the possibility of live poker games.

State lawmakers have introduced sports betting legislation, and that could open the door for the legalization of live poker. If the state legalizes live poker games, online poker could be the next logical step in South Carolina.

So, Can You Play Daily Fantasy Sports in South Carolina?

Daily fantasy sports in SC remain a gray area for legislation. State lawmakers have yet to create a bill that would make DFS legal or illegal in South Carolina.

Lawmakers introduced a fantasy sports bill in South Carolina back in 2016, but the bill didn’t get very far before the government threw it out. They then introduced Bill S1093 to the Senate on Feb. 17, 2016, and fellow legislators read it for the first time that day as well. Afterwards, they sent it to a Committee on Banking and Insurance, and from there it never went anywhere.

The bill would have legalized and regulated the daily fantasy sports industry in South Carolina, and it would have become the first official form of online gambling in the state. Even though the bill failed, some DFS providers still offer their services to players in the state. We recommend residents of the Palmetto State avoid using these sites until the government passes official legislation to regulate them.

How to Play South Carolina’s State Lottery

The official name of the lottery is the “South Carolina Education Lottery”. While it has an online website, players in the Palmetto State can only purchase tickets from retailers throughout the state, and must be 18+ to do so. The state founded the lottery in 2002 and it has awarded more than $5.5 billion to the General Assembly for appropriation.

Through 2019, the General Assembly has awarded over $4.4 billion to higher education in SC. A total of $3.8 billion of that money has gone towards scholarships for graduating seniors in the state who are looking to pursue higher education. The South Carolina Lottery Commission runs and oversees the lottery industry.

Addition Information About Gambling in South Carolina

Even though South Carolina currently has some very restrictive laws when it comes to gambling, that hasn’t always been the case. SC had more video gaming machines than any other state outside of Nevada as recently as 1999 before state lawmakers outlawed the gambling industry.

There are a few forms of gambling that South Carolina allows, but there are strict guidelines that people must follow. The state allows people to hold charitable bingo games, however entries must be either $3, $5, or $18.

The Catawba Tribe in SC can hold high stakes bingo games through the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The Tribe has also tried to open a casino in the state, but lawmakers have shut down its efforts.

The only casino in the state is the Big M Casino, a cruise boat that docks in Myrtle Beach. Players must do all of their gambling at the Big M Casino while it’s in the open water.

What Is the Future of Gambling Like in South Carolina?

Even though the state of South Carolina is extremely restrictive when it comes to gambling laws, there have been some recent attempts to legalize sports betting. There are no casinos in the state, but that could change if lawmakers pass an expanded gaming bill through the legislature and sign it into law. SC has always been slow to legalize gambling, but it appears that lawmakers are working to change that soon.

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