When will online sports betting launch in South Carolina?

It doesn’t look like online sports betting is coming to South Carolina anytime soon.

Online sports betting always requires legislation at the state level. With no discussion even happening in 2020 concerning sports betting and South Carolina, it seems like the state’s appetite for gambling is low.

The joint effort in 2019 to legalize commercial gaming did not specifically mention any online gambling.

Legal betting options in South Carolina

There currently are no legal sports betting options in South Carolina.

There are, of course, some websites that claim they can accept sports bets from anywhere in the US. These websites are not licensed to operate in any US jurisdiction, however. All gambling websites in the US are legalized and licensed at the local level.

Anyone that bets with these websites is taking on a considerable amount of risk. There is no consumer protection available for anyone that gambles with an unlicensed website.

That means if an offshore sportsbook decides not to pay out a bet or shut their operations down without returning customer funds, there’s no legal recourse for the bettor.

As for legal options, there aren’t many nearby for South Carolina.

The Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in Cherokee, North Carolina, is opening up a sportsbook eventually, but that’s about 200 miles from the state capital of Columbia.

The closest state with mobile sports betting is Tennessee, but the border from Columbia is an even farther drive than Harrah’s Cherokee.

Most potentially popular sport to bet on in South Carolina

South Carolina is just like any other southern US state with an SEC football team. Betting should always be the biggest on college football.

Now, whether South Carolina allows betting on their in-state college team is a toss-up. Some states allow betting on in-state teams while others, like New Jersey and Virginia, do not.

It’s important to point out that this doesn’t mean there would be no one in the state of South Carolina betting on the University of South Carolina Gamecocks. It just means those who want to bet on the Gamecocks would be left with only offshore operators to choose from.

South Carolina doesn’t technically have any professional teams located in the state, but residents typically support the NFL‘s Carolina Panthers and the NBA‘s Charlotte Hornets. Look for handle on those games to be outsized compared to other teams in those sports.

Just because there are no professional sports teams doesn’t mean there aren’t professional sports in South Carolina. Darlington Raceway hosts NASCAR every year.

South Carolina and Daily Fantasy Sports

South Carolina is a gray state when it comes to daily fantasy sports. That means while it’s not illegal, it also isn’t regulated and taxed by a gaming commission.

DFS operators do accept contest entries from within the borders of South Carolina. This includes the biggest DFS operators including DraftKings, FanDuel and Yahoo.

Is horse racing legal in South Carolina?

Outside of a few limited events, horse racing is not legal in South Carolina.

Neither is pari-mutuel betting on races happening out of state.

South Carolina also does not allow betting on advance deposit wagering sites, which let bettors place bets on horse races from their computers or mobile phones.

South Carolina sports betting timeline

2020: There was no effort made to legalize sports betting during the 2020 legislature.

2019: A joint effort from the House and Senate to legalize multiple forms of gambling, including casinos, dice games and sports betting, failed to drum up discussion.

The joint resolutions, HJR 3409 and SJR 57, called for an amendment to South Carolina’s constitution. They were backed by Sen. Gerald Malloy and Reps. J. Todd Rutherford and Kambrell Garvin.

The bills died after their first readings in their committees.

Similarly, another joint resolution that called for the creation of a gambling study commission failed after its first committee reading. That effort was also championed by Sen. Malloy.

SJR 71 called for a “comprehensive analysis of the costs and benefits legalized gambling may produce for the state.” The nine-member committee would have included appointments from the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House.

South Carolina sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in South Carolina?

No, sports betting is not legal in South Carolina. Its future in the Gamecock State is uncertain at the moment.

Where can I bet on sports?

Right now, there are no legal options to bet on sports in South Carolina.

Can I bet on my phone in South Carolina?

There are no legal options to bet on sports from a mobile device in South Carolina at this time.

There are some sportsbook sites and apps that say they will accept bets from residents in South Carolina, but those websites aren’t properly licensed.

All US sportsbooks are licensed by a state or jurisdiction and not at a federal level. Therefore, there are no sportsbooks that could offer sports betting to anyone within the US.

Betting with those operations is risky for the customer as there are no consumer protections. This means the operation could choose to not pay out a winning bet or could close without returning customer funds.

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