South Carolina has largely fought against nearly every form of gambling since its founding, going so far as to enshrine said opposition into its constitution, something we discussed in greater detail on our dedicated South Carolina gambling page. But there is hope for sports enthusiasts! In early 2019, Sen. Gerald Malloy filled an amendment to the South Carolina constitution ahead of the state’s 2019 legislative session. The bill if passed, would open up jurisdictions to allow games of chance, sports betting and pari-mutuel horse race betting. Malloy’s bill, along with a separate joint resolution to create a gambling study committee, are essential first steps to change centuries of gambling resistance. The current South Carolina sports betting environment is very restrictive with few limited opportunities available.
Gambling Laws in South Carolina
Currently South Carolina does not offer any type of state based sportsbook betting opportunities and the state has a limited amount of legal gambling entertainment available. No casinos, tribal or commercial, exist within state lines. Charitable games are heavily-restricted, and social gambling is implicitly illegal in all cases. The existence of gambling options in South Carolina depends on your interpretation of state law. South Carolina law currently identifies just three legal forms of gambling: bingo, raffles, and the state lottery. Since online gambling isn’t one of those three things, it could be said that placing real money bets online is illegal, since the state hasn’t made it explicitly legal.
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Most Popular Sports in South Carolina
Although there are no major league professional franchises based in South Carolina, the state does have numerous minor league teams including the Clemson Tigers football, South Carolina Gamecocks football and the Carolina Panthers. Several “Carolina” major league pro teams representing both North Carolina and South Carolina are based in neighboring North Carolina and have training facilities in South Carolina. College sports — particularly college football — are very big in South Carolina. The University of South Carolina’s Gamecocks and Clemson University’s Tigers regularly draw more than 80,000 spectators at the schools’ home football games, placing them among the top twenty schools in average attendance. The state is a prime destination for golf and water sports as well.
National Football League – Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are a professional American football team based in Charlotte, North Carolina. The Panthers compete in the National Football League (NFL), as a member club of the league’s National Football Conference (NFC) South division. The club is worth approximately US$2.3 billion, according to Forbes. The Panthers are supported in both North Carolina and South Carolina. In fact they are so popular that South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley declared July 30, 2012, “Carolina Panthers Day” in her state, saying that “when it comes to professional teams, the Carolina Panthers are the team that South Carolina calls their own”. The team is known for their community work as they support a variety of non-profits in North and South Carolina through the Carolina Panthers Charities via the medium of student scholarships, grants, charity auctions and other fundraisers. The Panthers have won six division championships: the NFC West championship in 1996 and the NFC South championship in 2003, 2008, 2013, 2014, and 2015. They are the first and only team to win the NFC South back to back and have won the NFC South more times than any other team in the division.
Football Bowl Subdivision –Clemson Tigers football
The Clemson Tigers, known traditionally as the “Clemson University Fighting Tigers,” represent Clemson University in the sport of American football. The Tigers compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC). Consistently ranked among the most elite college football programs in the United States, the team is known for its storied history, distinctive helmet, fight song and colors as well as the many traditions associated with the school. The Clemson Tigers has won three NCAA Division I Football National Championships, in 1981, 2016 and 2018. Similarly, the Clemson Tigers have claimed 21 conference championships and have appeared in 39 postseason bowl games with an overall record of 20-19. With 703 wins over 120 seasons of football, Clemson Tigers ranks 34th all-time in win-loss records in the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association)
East Coast Hockey League –South Carolina Stingrays
The South Carolina Stingrays are a professional minor league ice hockey team based in North Charleston, South Carolina. The Stingrays play in the South Division of the ECHL’s Eastern Conference. They are the first professional ice hockey team established in the state of South Carolina. The Stingrays have finished with the best record in the ECHL once, and qualified for the playoffs for every season except one. With Kelly Cup championships in 1997, 2001 and 2009, the Stingrays are tied with the Hampton Roads Admirals and the Alaska Aces for the record for most league championships. The team developed a large fan base rapidly following its inception. During its first season (1993–94) the team boasted an average of 9,151 fans a game—one of the largest crowds in minor league hockey. However, recent years have seen a downward trend in attendance.
Minor League Baseball –Greenville Drive
The Greenville Drive are a Minor League Baseball team based in Greenville, South Carolina. They are a Class A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox and a member of the South Atlantic League. Prior to the 2005 SAL season, the team played in Columbia, South Carolina, was affiliated with the New York Mets from 1981 to 2004, and was known as the Capital City Bombers. They are most known for their outstanding victory a few years back. On May 8, 2012 Greenville made history as three pitchers combined to toss the club’s first ever no-hitter. Miguel Pena (six innings), Hunter Cervenka (two) and Tyler Lockwood (one) joined forces to defeat the Rome Braves (Atlanta), 1–0. A solo home run by Keury De La Cruz off David Filak in the sixth inning counted for the only run of the game. In 2017, the Greenville Drive were the recipients of the 44th annual John H. Johnson President’s Award.
History of Sports Betting in South Carolina
South Carolina has largely fought against nearly every form of gambling since its founding, going so far as to enshrine said opposition into its constitution, in this regard the state has had a long and complicated history with gambling. In 1976, an initial ‘Bingo Act’ legislation was passed, legalizing charitable gaming albeit under very limited circumstances. In 1999, the Supreme Court upheld the decision permitting Casino Cruises. In 2001, the lottery was signed into law, with the first draw taking place one year later. In 2006, poker home-game raid lead to a multi-year battle through the Courts. The players playing poker at home were originally found guilty, then an appeal that poker was exempted as a ‘game of skill’ overturned these convictions in 2009. The year 2008 saw the sale of tickets via electronic terminals, and 2009 saw inter-State games such as the Powerball being offered.
|1976||An initial ‘Bingo Act’ legislation was passed, legalizing charitable gaming albeit under very limited circumstances|
|1999||The Supreme Court upheld the decision permitting Casino Cruises|
|2001||The lottery was signed into law, with the first draw taking place one year later|
|2006||Poker home-game raid lead to a multi-year battle through the Courts. The players playing poker at home were originally found guilty, then an appeal that poker was exempted as a ‘game of skill’ overturned these convictions in 2009|
|2008||The year 2008 saw the sale of tickets via electronic terminals|
|2009||2009 saw inter-State games such as the Powerball being offered|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in South Carolina
As you are not legally allowed to bet on sports in South Carolina there is no official age for doing so. However, if it were to be legal, it seems it could follow suit with other age control limits imposed in the state. Alcohol consumption in South Carolina is subject to age restrictions of 21 years of age. So, it would seem this would be the natural rule to follow, when sports betting in South Carolina is legalized in the future.
Sports Betting Age
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Since there are no provisions within South Carolina state gambling laws or US federal sports betting laws that prohibit residents from betting on sports online through legally sanctioned offshore sportsbooks, we’d have to say that yes, online sports betting at offshore sportsbooks is a legal form of betting entertainment for individuals in South Carolina. We do offer a word of caution regarding which sportsbooks you consider betting at. We recommend that you remain highly selective in your choices, restricting your betting action to only those destinations that are legitimately licensed and regulated through a respected governing jurisdiction. Take a look at what the neighboring states have in stock like with Georgia Sports Betting.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
Since sports betting is currently not legal, it is difficult to say what a potential legalization and resulting tax on winnings from sports betting could be.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in South Carolina Betting Law
South Carolina lawmakers likely won’t pass a gambling legalization amendment in 2019, let alone one to legalize sports betting, but the state has definitely taken an essential initial step towards the same. The upcoming proposed sports betting bill, if passed would open up jurisdictions to allow games of chance, sports betting and pari-mutuel horse race betting. Legal gambling would need a voter-approved amendment to the constitution but South Carolina voters have shown little appetite for full-scale gambling avenues such as wagers on sports or table games, in the past or exhibited little support for the future. Given that South Carolina’s neighboring states Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia and Kentucky have all introduced sports betting legalization bills for their respective 2019 legislative sessions, a trend towards sports betting could be predicted.