South Carolina - Next State to Legalize Sports Betting?

South Carolina – Next State to Legalize Sports Betting?

The sports betting industry has been exponentially growing in 2022 as more states look to legalize the operation.

Mobile sports betting could enter South Carolina soon as the legislation was introduced at the statehouse in Columbia last week.

Sports Betting Could Make its Way to South Carolina

The main sponsors of HB 5277 are Rep. Bill Herbkersman and House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford. When the approved sports betting licenses are handed out to the operators that look to enter the Palmetto State, sports gambling will be permitted across the entire state.

Bettors that will be able to use the online platforms can wager on in-state collegiate programs and other events that include the Olympics, motorsports, and esports. There is still work that needs to be done for the operation to be legalized.

The bill must make its way through the state House and Senate before making it to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk for consideration. McMaster has opposed sports betting in the past since gambling of any kind goes against the values of the state.

Nonetheless, the governor is up for re-election in November, which could be an avenue for him to change his mind about sports betting if the race becomes a close call. A bill must be passed before the end of the legislative session on June 15th.

Entities that Could Receive Approved Sports Betting Licenses

Eight to twelve sportsbook operators could get licenses once the market launches. These operators must partner with brick-and-mortar casinos or gaming facilities to conduct business in South Carolina. Professional sports organizations don’t call the Palmetto State home, but its host’s baseball and hockey minor league teams.

Facilities that host PGA Tour events and NASCAR promoters would be eligible for a license once the market launches. Mobile sportsbooks must also show proof that they operate in at least five other states in the industry to become eligible.

Operators must pay a license fee of $500,000 upon entry to operate in South Carolina. The tax rate based on adjusted gross sports betting revenue would be slated at 10 percent and would be lower than other states that have legalized markets in the industry.

It’s intended that 80 percent of the revenue collected will be used towards funding education. The remainder would go towards subsidizing programs like mental health.

Those who would be able to use these online platforms must be at least 18 years old. The bill also states that those using these platforms can fund their betting accounts with cryptocurrencies if they want to.

Most SEC States Don’t Offer Sports Betting in There Borders

Legalized sports betting is trying to become popular in the Southeastern Conference states. If a legalized market in South Carolina launches, it would only be the fifth state out of the 11 that successfully did so.

The four SEC jurisdictions that offer sports betting to its residents include Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. No press release or social media post was announcing the launch of Hard Rock Sportsbook in Florida. However, the operation was quickly shut down after a legal dispute took place, thus, making sports betting illegal again in the Sunshine State.

Efforts to push for legalized markets in Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia just couldn’t gather enough support. Bettors in Mississippi will have to wait a little longer for mobile sports betting to enter the state. Sports wagering is currently being discussed at the Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri.

Sports betting in the region has faced heavy opposition because many conservatives and other religious groups reside in the area. These groups believe that sports betting and any avenues of gaming will create compulsive gamblers, which would be horrible in terms of family stability.

There is still work to be done in South Carolina as the business venture also needs support from the governor.