South Carolina Online Gambling

Gambling Information and Online Casino Listings

Once, South Carolina gambling establishment were more popular than in Nevada. That’s hard to digest as it is, and even more when we take a closer look at today’s gambling landscape in the Palmetto State which is rather lacking. Chronological accounts of gambling in the state show us that there were activities as far back as the late 1700s. People would place bets on almost anything in the early days, from dog fights and horse races to wrestling, boxing and other competitive sports.

The first laws enforced to prevent such activities emerged in the 1800s. However, it was in the mid-20th century when conservative movements and law enforcement agencies really put an end to live gambling in South Carolina.

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Neighbouring States: Georgia, North Carolina

History of gambling in South Carolina

South Carolina had tens of thousands of video lottery terminals across the state at some point in the 1990s. Establishments such as convenience stores and bars started installing them in the 1970s and their number amounted to 34,000 gaming machines, which were de facto video poker machines. These operators exploited a loophole in the law and for years the legislation tried to do something about it. First, they introduced all sorts of limitations and restrictions like limited daily winnings and a limited number of machines per venue. Video poker was outlawed in 1999 and shut down in 2000.

The only forms of legal gambling in South Carolina are strictly controlled social games, charitable bingo games and the state lottery, established in 2001. The South Carolina state lottery sells tickets to lotto drawings and scratch-off instant game tickets. Bingo is present through charitable organizations, and also through high stakes bingo halls offered by the Catawba Tribe.


Land based casinos

Restrictive legislation has led to South Carolina having zero land-based casino venues. Not one casino is operational, neither led by commercial companies nor tribes. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act allows federally recognized tribes to offer gambling in their reservations, but the Catawba Tribe has only been permitted to spread high stakes bingo games and every attempt to expand into a casino by the tribe was sanctioned.

In fact, there are casinos operating within the state, but they aren’t exactly land-based. We’re referring to two casino cruises which depart from Little River (near Myrtle Beach). Both of them are owned and operated by The Big “M” Casino company. These establishments are able to keep themselves afloat, literally, by offering their patrons to book a cruise during which they will have access to gambling tables and the like (video poker, slots, craps, roulette). Other alternatives include casino resorts out of state. Three-to-four hours of driving can lead residents of South Carolina to venues such as Harrah’s Cherokee properties in Western North Carolina. Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort is closer and offers over 100 table games, video slot machines, three hotel towers, four restaurants and plenty of other amenities.


Online casinos

Playing casino games on the internet is something that is not regulated by law in the State of South Carolina. However, the activity is very much present because residents of South Carolina, much like most Americans can’t resist the quality of casino software and the prizes that originate from it offered at sites such as Slotocash Casino, Bovada, Ignition, Miami Club Casino and Red Stag.

These websites have no connections with companies or regulatory bodies in the state, which makes them perfect destinations for iGaming, as they are the least likely to be targeted by the UIGEA. Slotocash is a big casino brand focused on US market, part of the renowned DeckMedia group. It is packed with games made by Real Time Gaming and offers 24/7 support. Red Stag has been online since 2015 and it’s operating under the license of the jurisdiction of Curacao. It is powered by WGS and has great slots and progressive jackpots.


Regulation and legality of online gambling

The sites that operate online poker, slots, roulette, blackjack and other casino games are unlicensed in the state. They are licensed elsewhere because South Carolina does not have an established regulatory framework to put internet casinos in. The law identifies only bingo, raffles, and the state lottery as legal. The rest has not been made explicitly legal. It is really interesting to observe both gambling over the internet and gambling over international waters. Aren’t those two basically the same. Cruise ships are allowed, so internet gambling is too, as long as it takes place at offshore casino sites and not illegal intrastate web locations.

South Carolina needs a land-based casino industry first, and then we could talk about the odds of developing a regulated online gaming market. At least, that was the case with all other US states which have legalized online gambling so far. Some government officials have been fighting for commercial casinos; the state's roads need repair and some believe that casinos would be the perfect way to generate funds for those purposes. Even if that eventually leads to functioning casinos, it could take years, and then more years to start local gambling websites.


Fun Facts about South Carolina

  • The retro culture of drive-in movie theatres is still alive in in South Carolina. Three drive-in theatres are still operating: The Auto 25 Drive-In in Greenwood, Highway 21 Drive-In Movie Theater in Beaufort, and the Monetta Drive-In Theater in Monetta.


  • The world’s hottest chili pepper, the Carolina Reaper, is grown in South Carolina. So hot that often people who eat them will spasm, cry and vomit, the Carolina Reaper is grown by Ed Currie (Smokin’ Ed) of the PuckerButt Pepper Company.


  • Tattooing was illegal in South Carolina until relatively recently – until 2004. Residents of the Palmetto State would often drive out of state to nearby Georgia or North Carolina to get a tattoo legally. Now, there are more than a hundred tattoo parlors where you can get inked in SC.
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