South Carolina Online Poker and Gambling Laws

South Carolina is a very strict state when illegal gambling is involved. They have gambling laws dating back to 1802 that are still being used. The archaic laws have a very good strangle hold on the state, with their extremely broad definition of gambling:

SECTION 16-19-40. Unlawful games and betting.
If any person shall play at any tavern, inn, store for the retailing of spirituous liquors or in any house used as a place of gaming, barn, kitchen, stable or other outhouse, street, highway, open wood, race field or open place at (a) any game with cards or dice, (b) any gaming table, commonly called A, B, C, or E, O, or any gaming table known or distinguished by any other letters or by any figures, (c) any roley-poley table, (d) rouge et noir, (e) any faro bank (f) any other table or bank of the same or the like kind under any denomination whatsoever or (g) any machine or device licensed pursuant to Section 12-21-2720 and used for gambling purposes

They basically encompass anything and everything in their definition, since any game with cards or dice is deemed illegal if done unregulated. Along with the archaic laws are the archaic punishments. Those that are caught gambling illegally face misdemeanor charges, along with 30 days in jail and a $100 fine. For those that operate illegal gambling, face similar charges.

Gambling Allowed in South Carolina

With its old fashioned laws, come old fashioned ways of thinking. South Carolina does not seem to have many forms of regulated gambling, so their laws regarding the matter are wasted, since they will punish anyone that is gambling. They have no forms of commercial casinos or tribal gambling, and they do not even have any racetracks. The one aspect of gambling they have is that they allow some commercial gambling ships to depart from their ports. There are no exceptions when it comes to social gambling, but the State recently stated that some forms of social gambling is not illegal.

The two forms of gambling they do have is the state lottery and limited forms of charitable gambling. Bingo was the only form of legal charitable gaming until November 4, 2014, where voters approved raffles to be allowed as a second form of charitable gaming.

South Carolina Online Poker Law

Based on the fact that the South Carolina gambling laws are so archaic, it is no surprise that the issue of online gambling and online poker is not addressed in the law. This does not mean that it is legal, simply that there are no laws on how to deal with the matter. South Carolina is more concerned with those that operate the illegal gambling sites more than those that participate, so this could be the one saving point for the subject matter in regards to players playing poker online.

Land Based Casinos and Tribal Stances

There are no commercial casinos, racetracks, or any form of tribal gambling. South Carolina is basically a dry state when it comes to gambling.

State Regulated Online Poker

Estimated Date of Legalized Online Poker in South Carolina: 2019-2020

South Carolina isn’t an ideal prospect when talking about regulating online poker sites. The mere fact that there are no forms of regulated gambling, other than the state lottery, is a good indication of how the residents feel about gambling. This sentiment could be carried all the way to online gambling regulation. The chances of South Carolina becoming a proponent in regulating online poker sites are extremely low.

Online Lotteries

The one form of regulated gambling that the State of South Carolina has is its state lottery. They began offering lottery sales in 2002 with the basis of raising funds for the education department. They have no intentions of selling lottery tickets online.

South Carolina Online Poker Sites

South Carolina may have strict rules about unregulated gambling, but they seem more interested in going after those that operate the illegal gambling, and not so much the participants. With that in mind, it is more likely to be prosecuted if someone hosts an online poker site from within the state than someone that merely plays on the online poker sites. A couple poker sites that welcome South Carolina poker players and residents are BetOnline Poker and the excellent Ignition Poker, each with great service, quality, and games!

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