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.
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As far as legal gambling goes, South Carolinians are likely to have a difficult time placing bets and playing their favorite games.
In short, there is no sports betting in South Carolina, there is no poker, and there are no casinos beyond those on cruise ships that sail out into international waters to avoid prohibition.
Bettors can try their hand at a smattering of bingo operators and pick their numbers for a selection of lottery draws, but otherwise gambling in the state is a no-go. The only option is the Big M Casino cruise, which departs from Little River, near Myrtle Beach.
The legislation that prohibits betting pre-dates the internet, but the wording is vague enough to cover online gambling in South Carolina, too.
Even with the Supreme Court’s decision to lift the ban on sports betting, it doesn’t appear as if South Carolina online gambling will become a reality for quite some time. The Senate Majority Leader, Shane Massey, has said that "South Carolina has always been reluctant to get involved in organized gambling, because there are a lot of other negative elements that come with it."
The history of gambling in South Carolina is pretty dull, in the sense that the state has always been anti-betting and there have been minimal attempts to change that stance with new gambling bills etc.
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 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.
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.
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.