South Carolina Sports Betting
South Carolina sports betting is not legal, though there has been multiple attempts to get the industry off the ground in recent years, including during the 2023 legislative session.
HB 3749 is currently working its way through the state legislature, but lack of staying power shown by previous bills does not bode well for the future of this latest attempt.
Read on to find out what the current status is for future legal sports betting in South Carolina.
When will online sports betting launch in South Carolina?
It doesn’t look like online sports betting is coming to South Carolina anytime soon.
It’s not impossible to think a sports betting bill could gain traction in the state after bills were proposed in 2019, 2021, 2022 and 2023. But the short shelf-life of all three is not a great indicator of success for future sports betting bills.
There was a bill, HB 3749, making its way through the 2023 South Carolina state legislature, but the session ended without the bill passing. The bill would have legalized up to eight sports betting apps offering the best sports betting promos, would be available to anyone 18 years or older and includes no prohibitions on college sports.
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.
North Carolina has three retail sports betting options, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy and Catawba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain.
The closest state with mobile sports betting is Tennessee, but both Harrah’s locations in North Carolina are closer than the Tennessee border for most of the South Carolina population.
Sportsbooks apps that could launch in South Carolina
If legal sports betting ever gets off the ground in South Carolina, there are a few sportsbooks that make more sense to launch in the state than most. While picking exactly what the list of operators may look like is near impossible, we can make an educated guess for a few more likely candidates.
- FanDuel – Residents of South Carolina would already be familiar with FanDuel given its presense throughout the US and the fact that it offers daily fantasy sports in the state. FanDuel already operates in a ton of other states on the east coast and is likely to have a presence in North Carolina once that state’s industry gets off the ground in late 2023 or early 2024.
- DraftKings – DraftKings makes sense in South Carolina for many of the same reasons FanDuel does. The sports betting giant already has a base of customers built into the state through DFS offerings and has a habit of entering states across the US that don’t have the largest markets or list of legal books.
- Caesars – Caesars already operates in two of North Carolina casinos and would be a natural partner with South Carolina in a future legal market. South Carolinians who have travelled across the northern border to place bets at legal casinos may already have a relationship with this sports betting stalwart.
- BetMGM – Another giant of the sports betting industry in the US, BetMGM combines brand power with a quality sports betting app that is now featured in more than 20 states. It would not be a surprise to see BetMGM venture in South Carolina as well.
Popular sports to bet on in South Carolina
South Carolina is just like many other southern US states: football reigns supreme. The state is home to major college football programs at Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and Coastal Carolina University with the Clemson Tigers football team being the most popular team in any sport in the state. Clemson won the National Championship in 2016 and 2018. Here is a list of all of the colleges in the states with major athletic programs:
- Charleston Southern University
- The Citadel
- Clemson University
- Coastal Carolina University
- College of Charleston
- Furman University
- Presbyterian College
- University of South Carolina
- South Carolina State University
- University of South Carolina Upstate
- Winthrop University
- Wofford College
Now, whether South Carolina allows betting on their in-state college teams in the future is a toss-up. Some states allow betting on in-state teams while others, like New Jersey and Virginia, do not.
South Carolina doesn’t have any professional teams located in the state, but there are popular teams in the region that residents love to root for:
- NFL: Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons
- NBA: Charlotte Hornets, Atlanta Hawks
- NHL: Carolina Hurricanes
- MLB: Atlanta Braves
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 and betting on NASCAR events would likely be very popular to bet on in the state.
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
2023: HB 3749 is introduced and read in House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Revenue Policy. The bill will likely face a few more hearings before a full committee vote.
2022: HB 5277 is introduced. This bill proposes legalized sports betting including legalizing mobile sports betting. The bill had bipartisan support but dies in committee.
2021: HB 3395 is introduced. The bill proposes an amendment to the constitution of South Carolina to legalize sports betting, horse betting and casino gaming. The bill is read once and dies after being referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
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, South Carolina sports betting is not legal. The future of sports betting 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.
Who will be able to bet on sports in South Carolina?
If sports betting were to become legal in South Carolina, it will most likely be limited to people 21 years of age or older.
Is DFS legal in South Carolina?
There are no laws indicating whether DFS is legal or illegal in South Carolina, so companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings continue to operate and accept entries in a sort of gray are in the state.
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 sports betting websites that say they accept bets from the United States. Are those legal options?
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.