Sports betting isn’t legal in South Carolina, but Democratic Rep. J. Todd Rutherford, the House minority leader, wants legalized wagering to be voted on by the state’s residents.
NEW: A South Carolina lawmaker has proposed a constitutional amendment to legalize sports betting, casino gambling and pari-mutuel betting on horse races. Ballot question for voters.
The sponsor is J. Todd Rutherford, the House minority leader.
— Daniel Wallach (@WALLACHLEGAL) December 9, 2022
While neighboring North Carolina and Georgia also don’t have widespread legal sports betting, a pair of North Carolina tribal casinos do offer retail sports wagering. State legislators in both Georgia and North Carolina made a push for widespread legal sports betting this year, but their efforts fell short.
Tennessee and Virginia are among Southeastern states that offer legal mobile sports betting. Those states allow access to a variety of major mobile sportsbooks, including Barstool Sportsbook, BetMGM, Caesars Sportsbook, DraftKings, and FanDuel.
Details of the bill
Rutherford’s proposal would allow wagering on professional sports, but it does not mention collegiate events. Leaving out college sporting events would certainly reduce some revenue potential for the state, as the University of South Carolina and Clemson University are among institutions with die-hard fanbases.
A potential tax rate on sports betting is not specified in Rutherford’s proposal, although he co-sponsored a bill in April that would have taxed adjusted gross revenue at 10%. That previous bill included wagering on college sports.
While a tax rate isn’t suggested, language in the proposal says tax revenue created by sports betting and casino gaming would be used by South Carolina for “highway, road, and bridge maintenance, construction, and repair.”
As far as the casino wagering allowed by the proposal, the legislation would allow card and dice games that involve skill. Games of chance completed through electronic devices and gaming tables would also be allowed.
South Carolina’s 2023 legislative session starts on Jan. 10, at which point the bill could be discussed. It’s currently pending review by the House Judiciary Committee.