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South Carolina Casinos & Gambling

South Carolina Regulated Gambling:

Lottery/Charitable Gaming(Bingo) 2001

Gambling Age in South Carolina:

Lottery/Charitable Gaming(Bingo) 18+

South Carolina Casinos:

Tribal & Commercial Casinos 0

South Carolina

Online Gambling & Casinos in South Carolina

The US southeast (including South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia) is less gambling-friendly than many other American states. These states share respective state lotteries and charitable gaming in common. North Carolina is the only one of the three states to offer tribal casinos. Even then, there are only 2 in the entire state.

Despite its conservative attitude towards gambling, South Carolina has shown signs that it is willing to change. After all, a regulated industry is the best way of protecting players and collecting much-needed tax revenue.

As you no doubt assumed, interactive gaming is also off the table. This means both online gambling and casinos are prohibited in The Palmetto State. Still, this has not stopped some gambling enthusiasts from visiting offshore online casinos to get their fill of online slots and popular table games.

We invite you to continue reading our article, where you can find details on gambling in South Carolina and expert recommendations on top casinos and bonuses.

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Best New Casinos in South Carolina

Even though South Carolina gambling laws are not player-friendly, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find places to play. In fact, the best new casinos in South Carolina are online, including the ones listed below. These are Bitcoin casinos, also accepting USD (using a credit card) & BTC.

Americans with a taste for online slot machines, specialty games, video poker, and table games (roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker, et cetera) can find a good selection of variants. These are designed by leading providers like Realtime Gaming, Rival Games, ViG, and others. You can play most online casino games for free or for real money.

Furthermore, new players from South Carolina can claim a welcome bonus on the first or sometimes first few deposits. Regular players can also participate in tournaments, VIP loyalty rewards, Comp Points, bonuses, and more. You can read all about each of our recommended casinos in the accompanying review.

Best Bonuses in South Carolina Casinos

Online casino bonuses are to casinos what doughnuts are to coffee! Although every online casino offers a welcome bonus, they can be quite different from one casino to the next.

First, not all online casinos offer a signup no deposit bonus. However, all offer a welcome bonus package typically consisting of a match deposit bonus and sometimes free spins too. Match deposits can also be awarded on the first 2, 3, 4, or 5 deposits. The percentages that the casino will match you at and the maximum bonus money can vary substantially.

Also, remember that the best bonuses in South Carolina casinos, like those listed below, have fair bonus T&Cs and playthrough wagering requirements. See what we mean below!

South Carolina Gambling Overview

South Carolina is located on the US east coast, with a population of 5.1m. Residents and visitors endure some of the strictest gambling laws in the US. Proponents of liberalizing gambling have been trying to get it off the ground for years. With growing budget deficits, the pressure seems set to intensify.

Land-based casinos are not authorized in the state, so you won’t find commercial casinos or tribal casinos. What you will find is ‘The Big M Casino,’ which has 2 casino cruise ships. Besides offering optional dining, passengers can play slot machines, table games, and video poker on waters outside the state. The Legislature has tried and failed to prohibit the activity in the past.

Surprisingly, despite horses forming part of South Carolina’s history & identity, pari-mutuel wagering is not permitted either. You can also forget about sports betting or interactive gaming. In fact, the only authorized and regulated forms of gaming in South Carolina are the state lottery and charitable gaming.

Lottery

The South Carolina Lottery Commission is responsible for oversight of The South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL). The lottery offers terminal games, scratch-offs, and second-chance promotions. It is also a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association, allowing it to sell multistate tickets like Powerball, Mega Millions, and Lucky For Life. Tickets can be purchased at authorized retailers only.

Charitable Gaming

Charitable gaming (bingo & raffles) conducted by religious, charitable, or fraternal organizations are permitted at annual county and state fairs. These must be licensed and regulated by the ​​​South Carolina Department of Revenue. Prizes for cash or merchandise may not exceed $150 per game.

South Carolina Gambling History

Unlike today, gambling in early 19th century South Carolina was more widely available. This included card games, dice games, horse races, and cockfights, among other activities.

Video poker machines first started to creep into South Carolina in the early 1980s. In 1986, Sen. Jack Lindsay quietly permitted machines to award payouts through a provision in the law. It wasn’t until 1990 that the Legislature moved to ban video poker machines but failed.

The Video Game Machines Act went into effect on July 1, 1993, limiting payouts to $125 per day. Furthermore, it authorized county referendums which would decide whether payouts could continue. In 1994, 34 of the 46 counties approved payouts from video poker machines.

The following year, a federal judge rejected the enforcement of the ban on the 12 counties which voted against payouts. A year later, the Supreme Court ruled the different treatments between counties unconstitutional.

The Legislature again attempted to ban video poker machines in 1998 but failed. However, in 1999, legislation was introduced requiring video poker machines to first be approved in a referendum. The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled any referendum unconstitutional, but the video poker ban stood, going into effect July 1, 2000.

In 1993/94, H 3765, a Joint Resolution called for an amendment to the Constitution to authorize a state lottery in South Carolina. However, it ran into opposition and never made it further. In 1995/96, another Joint Resolutions S2 and H4390 again called for a Constitutional amendment to authorize a state lottery but also failed to advance.

It wasn’t until June 13, 2001, that a Bill was signed by the governor, authorizing and regulating a South Carolina lottery. The first ticket was sold in 2002. On January 31, 2010, The South Carolina Education Lottery (SCEL) became a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Gambling cruises have historically irked the Legislature, who attempted to prohibit them in 2003 (H3271), 2005 (H33112), and again in 2007 (H3363).

An amendment (Amendment 1) to the South Carolina Constitution to allow charitable raffles was passed on November 4, 2014. Bingo was first authorized and regulated in 2001.

In February 2016, S1093, a Bill that would authorize and regulate fantasy contests in South Carolina, went as far as the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance.

Fast forward to December 12, 2018, Senator Malloy sponsored a huge Bill in the Senate to amend the 1895 South Carolina Constitution to authorize and regulate gambling and gaming activities. It would cover pari-mutuel betting on horse races, sports betting, and casinos (both skill games and games of chance). It ultimately failed to gain enough support.

S67, a Joint Resolution, was pre-filed in December 2020 to create a gambling study committee. It was referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary on January 12, 2021.

South Carolina Gambling FAQ

What is the legal gambling age in South Carolina?

The legal gambling age in South Carolina is 18 and over.

Are Daily Fantasy Sports legal in South Carolina?

Although DFS is neither authorized nor regulated in South Carolina, they are tolerated since they are considered games of skill rather than chance.

Are there any casinos in South Carolina?

There are no land-based casinos in South Carolina. However, visitors and state residents can find 2 casino cruise ships offered by The Big M Casino. Here, players can play slot machines, table games, and video poker outside the state’s waters.

Does South Carolina have a state lottery?

Yes, The South Carolina Education Lottery offers scratch-offs, second chance, and state & multistate game draws.

Can I place pari-mutuel wagers in South Carolina?

No, pari-mutuel wagering on horse races is not permitted in South Carolina.

Is online sports betting legal in South Carolina?

No, online sports betting in South Carolina is prohibited.

Conclusion

South Carolina can hardly be considered a gambling-friendly state, with only a state lottery and charitable gaming. At least fantasy sports contests, although neither authorized nor regulated, are tolerated. Still, the South Carolina Legislature has introduced bills to legalize sports betting, casinos, pari-mutuel racing, and electronic devices in recent years. We think it’s just a matter of time before the ice begins to thaw on the attitude towards gambling.

Unfortunately, the future of interactive gaming (including online gambling and casinos) remains unclear. Some players from The Palmetto State aren’t waiting and already play at offshore online casinos. You can find our list of the best new casinos in South Carolina and the best bonuses above. Remember to bookmark our page and revisit us for updates.

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