South Carolina is lagging behind other states in terms of gambling, with a 207-year-old statute still in effect that forbids any card or dice game. South Carolina is staunchly committed to its anti-gambling traditions, in contrast to other states in the country that have legalized gambling in various forms.
The good news for sports bettors is that there are no explicit legal prohibitions against placing bets online or wagering on athletic events. The state of South Carolina opposes sports gambling, as evidenced by the state’s multiple anti-gambling statutes, but the laws themselves don’t say much to that effect.
South Carolina’s Gaming Laws
South Carolina’s gambling laws don’t give much leeway for interpretation. As to South Carolina law, engaging in “any game with cards or dice” is a criminal offense that can result in a maximum sentence of 30 days behind bars and a fine of $100. In addition, the owner of the space where these games are being played may face a fine of up to $2000 and a jail sentence of up to a year.
The law doesn’t even specify a minimum bet; it is essentially unlawful to even play games involving cards or dice. It is against the law, literally, to play Monopoly or Yahtzee with your family. Although these rules are utterly antiquated, legislators in South Carolina, like former state Senate leader Glenn McConnell, have repeatedly encountered opposition when trying to modernize the state’s gaming laws.
It wasn’t until November 4, 2014, that charitable raffles, which are organized by non-profit groups for charitable purposes, were officially legalized. South Carolina’s anti-gambling stance is demonstrated by the length of time it took the state to authorize even charitable, non-profit gaming.
South Carolina Sports Betting
The gambling regulations in South Carolina are so antiquated that they don’t even specifically address sports or sports betting. Although “engaging in betting” would probably encompass sports betting, there is no specific crime or punishment for sports betting, unlike card and table games.
The act of bookmaking is expressly declared unlawful. “Bookmaking, with or without writing, at any time or place” is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum fine of $1000 and a maximum jail sentence of six months if found guilty. However, there are no explicit rules prohibiting the person from betting with those bookmakers.
Because of all of this, betting on South Carolina online is a somewhat secure idea. Not only are there no explicit laws against sports betting, but the South Carolina Code of Laws makes no mention of internet gambling either, allowing you to bet on the Panthers with an offshore sportsbook with ease.
Since offshore sportsbooks are not governed by South Carolina law, they are allowed to accept wagers in compliance with those regulations. Nobody in South Carolina has been detained or penalized for placing an internet sports wager as of yet.
South Carolina’s Poker and Casino
Although it is evident that South Carolina does not allow land-based casinos, there is a way for bettors who wish to play table and slot games to get around the law. Two cruise ships that leave from the Little River in South Carolina and venture into international seas are the Southern Elegance Casino Cruise and the Suncruz Casino. On these vessels, guests can enjoy slot machines, table games, and poker.
These cruise ships are not ideal as a casino alternative, but they are still preferable to nothing. Because they are confined to the boat for the duration of the journey, players are not free to come and go as they choose. Additionally, their play time is restricted to a few hours because the casino must close when the boat is not in international waters.
Play Poker Online
Online poker is a far more alluring alternative for gamers than playing while cruising on a cruise ship. The variety and stakes of the games on international waters are severely restricted, depending on the number of passengers who wish to play, whereas offshore poker rooms accommodate a far wider player base.
Although it is against the law to play poker in South Carolina, there are no particular rules against playing online.
Additional South Carolina Betting Options
The South Carolina Education Lottery was established in 2002. The lottery offers both large multi-state Powerball and Mega Millions prizes in addition to in-state drawings. Scratch-off lottery tickets are also available to residents of South Carolina.
South Carolina Lottery
The Palmetto Cash 5 and the Pick 3 and Pick 4 are among the in-state contests. In the Cash 5, wagerers can choose to buy a $1 ticket to simply be entered to win the listed reward or a $2 ticket that activates a multiplier. A multiplier drawing is included with every Palmetto Cash 5 drawing, with the potential to raise winnings by up to five times.
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