Updated: Jun 28th, 2022

South Carolina Gambling

Updated: Jun 28th, 2022

As far as legal gambling goes, South Carolinians are likely to have a difficult time placing bets and playing their favorite games.

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Online Casino Gambling in South Carolina

Social Casino Offers Only Available

At this moment there doesn’t appear to be any likelihood that the rules on gambling in the state will change, so there is no immediate prospect for real money online casinos in South Carolina.

For that to happen, there would need to be a change in the wording of the laws that prohibit betting in the state, with Section 16-19-130 of the South Carolina Code of Laws reading as follows:

“Any person who...receives, registers, records or forwards or purports or pretends to receive, register, record or forward, in any manner whatsoever, any money, thing or consideration of value bet or wagered or offered for the purpose of being bet or wagered by or for any other person or sells pools upon any such result...shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.”

It goes on to state that guilt of any of the above can lead to a significant fine or even jail time. Therefore, South Carolina online casinos remain a pipe dream until the law governing online-specific activities is confirmed.

Social casinos are completely legal, though, and available on the internet or as an app and feature all the popular casino games, including slots, blackjack, video poker and roulette. It is free to play. While you cannot win money playing games at social casinos, the sites like WinStar, LuckyLand and Chumba casino typically offer sweepstakes (games of chance) with prizes that can include real money jackpots.

South Carolina Daily Fantasy

Offers Available

The general confusion from state to state on whether daily fantasy is actually a form of gambling or not means that, by and large, gamers can still play daily fantasy sports (DFS) until legislation specifically outlawing it is introduced.

That’s the situation with daily fantasy in South Carolina, where the South Carolina Fantasy Contests Act is still in committee.

The bill would need to be voted on and then signed off on by the governor, so for the time being, South Carolina daily fantasy exists in that vacuum between being legal and otherwise. But for players, that means they can enjoy leading sites like Draftkings and FanDuel without worry.

South Carolina Poker Online

Not Legal

State lawmakers are real downers on poker in any form, and for that reason online poker in South Carolina remains a long way off.

The rules are so strict that it is illegal to play poker in any way, meaning that you could be playing for match sticks or peanuts, rather than cash, and you are technically still liable for a slap on the wrist or a fine.

South Carolina online poker would need a significant paradigm shift to relaxed lawmaking before it would even go to committee for discussion.

Sports Betting in South Carolina

Not Legal

The law regarding sports betting in South Carolina refers specifically to horse racing, although it is reasonable to assume the same principles apply across the sporting spectrum.

These state that anyone engaging in betting, bookmaking or pool selling "...shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court."

Until these laws are relaxed, there won’t be any operators willing to try South Carolina sports betting, no matter how much demand there might be.

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Timeline of Gambling Legislation in South Carolina

2019
1 of 8

A publicly anonymous South Carolina resident wins a more than $1 billion lottery jackpot, the largest in American history.

2018
2 of 8

Lawmakers again introduce a sports betting legalization bill, though they aknowledge it faces long odds in one of the most gambling-averse states in the nation. Follow-up efforts in 2019 are also expected to fall short.

2012
3 of 8

A protracted court case sees poker confirmed as a game of chance rather than skill, meaning that house games and online poker both remain prohibited in the state.

2008
4 of 8

An agreement was made between state governors and the casino cruise brands, allowing the cruises to continue as long as a $7 levy per bettor is paid.

2004
5 of 8

The Bingo Act was extended to include electronic machines, perhaps paving the way for online bingo.

2001
6 of 8

The state’s first lottery game was legalized, and brands like Powerball and Mega Millions have since followed.

2000
7 of 8

Tens of thousands of video lottery terminals, which also had poker games loaded on them, were shut down as "unconstitutional."

1976
8 of 8

The Bingo Act was passed, allowing charitable games to be held under strict instructions.

Contributors

Contributors

Hi, I'm Ron Fritz

"Three decades covering online gaming, news and sports. My expertise is government and legislation, breaking down the latest online gambling industry developments to keep you in the know."

Interests
  • Gambling legislation
  • Online casinos
  • Gambling industry

Reviewer since July 2019

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