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SBD Staff Writer

by SBD Staff Writer

Updated Feb 21, 2023 · 4:22 PM PST

In South Carolina, sports bettors might be waiting for a long time to make their first legal bet within state lines.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018. On that day, courts voted to allow each state to propose and create their own laws and regulations for sports betting.

However, no current legislation is on the table to legalize in South Carolina despite some previously failed attempts.

Gambling options, in general, are few and far between in South Carolina. In fact, the only forms of legal gambling are social games played at home like poker and bridge. Even still, these games need to be played in the most basic of settings, perhaps at a kitchen table. The mere possession of any device or table used for the promotion of gambling is deemed illegal.

From the time South Carolina joined the union in 1788, they moved quickly to outlaw all forms of gambling.

If gamblers wish to find an outlet to make a wager, they can travel to Myrtle Beach where two casino cruises have been allowed to operate since 2008 by taking gamblers into international waters. Otherwise, they’re left with charitable bingo games, daily fantasy games, and the state lottery.

Luckily, North Carolina has legalized sports betting and is a short drive away.

When Will Sports Betting Be Legal in South Carolina?

Some attempts towards legalized gambling and sports betting were taken in 2019 by the House and Senate; however, none of the attempts were successful. Bills HJR 3409 and SJR 57 proposed the legalization of all forms of gambling, including sports betting. Whereas SJR 71 would create a commission to study the potential impact of legalized wagering.

Considering no further efforts have been made in 2020, the prospect of legal sports betting in South Carolina still looks to be some ways off. For any bill to legalize sports betting in South Carolina, it would first need to pass the legislative body and then a referendum vote by the voting public.

The only silver lining is that South Carolina’s infrastructure is in substantial need of revenue; sports gambling could be that source. This means further bills may be introduced in 2021.

With no active legislation on the table, it’s best to look at a brief history of gambling in the state to paint the picture. Video lottery terminals were deemed unconstitutional by the South Carolina Supreme Court and outlawed in 2000. There are no casinos, no horse or dog racing tracks, no off-track or pari-mutuel locations anywhere in the state.

Such strict regulation leaves only the two cruise ship casinos near Little River, where customers are taken to international waters to gamble.

South Carolina Sports Betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in South Carolina?

Outside of the state lottery and charitable bingo, gambling or sports betting are illegal in South Carolina.

Are there any casinos in South Carolina?

As gambling is strictly prohibited in South Carolina, there are no casinos in South Carolina. However, two casino cruises do exist near Little River in the Myrtle Beach area.

What are the biggest sports teams in South Carolina?

Though South Carolina is technically not home to any major pro teams, college sports are very popular. Residents will usually support teams to the north in the Carolina Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes, and Charlotte Hornets.

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