South carolina stands out as an extremely conservative state when it comes to gambling laws, with decades-old anti-gambling regulations banning most forms of land-based gambling and prohibiting online gaming altogether. State Senator Lindsey Graham has taken an active stance against this form of betting and actively opposes any federal efforts at criminalizing it; thus, legal sports betting or casino games in South carolina appear unlikely.
FanDuel and DraftKings provide legal betting opportunities in South carolina through daily fantasy sports sites like FanDuel and DraftKings, employing attorneys to review state gaming laws to ascertain if offering services is safe in each jurisdiction. After conducting this analysis for South carolina laws they determined they did not restrict their business model, and have thus not been prosecuted for providing their services to residents of this state.
South carolina was home to one of America’s thriving video poker industries during the 1990s. Local gas stations and convenience stores operated over 34, 000 video poker terminals at that time; however, church groups and anti-gambling activists opposed their widespread availability, leading them to be decommissioned by 2000. South carolina remains one of the few US states without state lotteries or tribal casinos; residents still enjoy charitable gambling through bingo halls or education lottery and two casino cruise ships operating out of South carolina for slot machine play.
Will South carolina ever legalize online gambling? It seems unlikely, considering voters are so strongly against gambling. Even if lawmakers did legalize gambling online, passing legislation to enable players to place bets from home computers or mobile devices would likely prove challenging.
Therefore, those interested in gambling within their state have few viable options other than visiting neighboring states or offshore sites not regulated by any gaming authority. While offshore sites don’t technically break any laws themselves, they often lack effective management practices and do not provide fair and transparent experiences for their customers; furthermore they often reside in countries with lax or nonexistent gambling regulations.
One hopeful sign for South carolina sports bettors is that its anti-gambling laws do not specifically mention online or internet gambling; therefore, future bills could include an amendment legalizing it. Meanwhile, sports bettors in South carolina can place bets at sites which accept players from South carolina; though illegal, many have continued gambling online without fear of prosecution despite these foreign sites technically breaking South carolina laws; this could indicate that state lawmakers are warming up to legalizing online gambling altogether and eventually legalize sports betting altogether.