South Carolina Sports Betting
Sports betting in South Carolina is not legal, though there has been multiple attempts to get the industry off the ground in recent years.
HB 5277, introduced in 2022, had bipartisan support for legalization but died in committee. That bill’s lack of staying power does not bode well for the future of sports betting in the state as the issue doesn’t appear to be a priority for many state legislators.
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 and 2022. But the short shelf-life of all three is not a great indicator of success for future sports betting bills.
The most recent bill, HB 5277, did however propose to legalize mobile sports wagering specifically, so there is a chance future legislation could include mobile sports betting. The South Carolina legislature convenes next on Jan. 10, 2023.
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 two retail sports betting options, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee, North Carolina, and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River in Murphy, North Carolina. However both of those locations are a couple hours drive just from the Northwest portion of South Carolina let alone the rest of the state.
The closest state with mobile sports betting is Tennessee, but both Harrah’s locations in North Carolina are closer than the Tennessee border.
Potentially popular sport 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 and the University of South Carolina with the Clemson Tigers football team being them most popular team in any sport in the state. Clemson won the National Championship in 2016 and 2018.
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 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 and betting on NASCAR events would likely be very popular.
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
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, 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.