Last updated: June 1, 2020
Status: Several bills have been introduced with a view to legalising sports betting. However, to date none have gained any real traction.
ETA: Legal sports betting is unlikely to be introduced in 2020.
South Carolina is notorious for its gambling laws, which are some of the strictest in the US. There are no casinos permitted (with the exception of those on visiting cruise ships), no card games (even when played for fun in retirement homes) and no sports or horse racing betting. Bingo and raffle games are only allowed if they are organised for charity (with limited prizes) and the state lottery only began in 2001.
Tribal groups have attempted to establish high-stakes gaming on their land since 1993, but have yet to be successful. Any move to legalize sports betting would be seen as a radical change of direction for the conservative state.
Sports betting is still illegal in South Carolina and it could be some time before the state follows the national trend towards leniency in terms of gambling activities.
If sports gambling in South Carolina ever gets the green light, it will be strictly controlled by the state. A new regulatory board would have to be established.
If sports betting becomes legal in South Carolina, it is expected that an age limit of 21 will be applied.
There are no legal online or land-based sports betting venues in South Carolina.
There are no sports betting operators or licence holders in the state of South Carolina.
No operators currently offer legal sports betting in South Carolina.
If sports betting is introduced into South Carolina, it is not yet clear if mobile betting via applications would be allowed. Much will depend on the findings of the proposed gambling committee.
Early estimates suggest South Carolina could earn up to $16 million a year in tax revenue.
No decision has yet been made on what tax rate would be applied to sports betting in South Carolina. As part of the joint resolution introduced in December, a gambling committee would need to be formed to explore the implications of betting in the Palmetto State.
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