A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in South Carolina

South Carolina has had a very limited history in regards to gambling, as they pretty much banned it all from the start. South Carolinians have never been gamblers, but that started to change in the 70s, extremely slowly.

South Carolina made the first step in 1976, with the passing of the ‘Bingo Act’. This act legalized charitable gaming under extremely strict conditions, and as if the state’s legislators weren’t happy with how constricted the law was, they added a requirement for an individual license to host bingo nights in 1986. Ten years later, they made it a bit more complicated, defining non-profit organizations in the existing law. There was also a short boom of video poker machines through a legal gray area, but this was gone within the decade.

In 1999, the Supreme Court deemed casino cruises legal and allowed them to continue operating. However, the South Carolinian legislature wanted no part in it and tried to ban them up until 2008, when they were offered a $7 fee for every passenger on the cruises, which they accepted. In 2001, South Carolina created their lottery system and in 2004 electronic bingo machines were legalized for licensed operators only. Four years later, the state started selling lottery tickets through electronic terminals and participating in multi-state games such as the Powerball and Mega Millions.

In 2006, South Carolina prosecuted citizens for playing Texas Hold’em poker in their own home and the judge eagerly found them guilty. This verdict was overturned but the state’s government asked their Supreme Court to intervene. The court upheld the original verdicts.

South Carolina hasn’t legalized online gambling, nor is it likely to do so any time soon. Along with Utah, this is the most conservative state in the Union. Today, everything is illegal except bingo and lottery games. The two casino cruises leaving from coastal towns aren’t regulated by the state since they conduct business in international waters, so you still have some options if you visit this state.

 South Carolina Gambling Overview:

  • Year South Carolina regulated offline and online gambling: 1999 for offline gambling, online gambling is unregulated but illegal.
  • South Carolina gambling age: 18, 21 for casino cruises.
  • Legal online casino games in South Carolina: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: 0
  • Number of tribal casinos: 0
  • Top online casinos SC-wide:

Gambling in South Carolina: What’s Legal?

The answer is – very little. Bingo and lottery games are legal, as are the casino cruises leaving the state to gamble on the ocean. The state hasn’t taken any action against daily fantasy sports and companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel continue to offer their platforms here. Everything else is strictly illegal – betting on any type of race, online gambling, land-based casinos, tribal casinos, even keno is illegal! South Carolina doesn’t have a smoking ban though, so if you go on the cruise casinos you’ll likely be able to smoke inside unless ship regulations say otherwise.

Name Address Opening Hours Games Dress Code Phone Number Website
Big M Casino (two ships) 4491 Mineola Avenue, Little River Reservation only Over 400 slots, table games Casual ‘but sensible’ 843-249-9811 www.bigmcasino.com

Online Casinos in South Carolina: What You Should Know

There are no online gambling options in South Carolina.

Are South Carolina Online Casinos Legal for Non-SC Residents?

  • N/A

What types of games do South Carolina online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in South Carolina if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in South Carolina?

  • Yes, but the law may be eager to punish you if you gamble online.

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in South Carolina

South Carolina is possibly the most conservative state in the US when it comes to gambling. If you want to gamble you can take a cruise, but if you want to gamble online, you’ll either have to risk it and join an offshore online casino websites, or travel to a state with legal online gambling, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania or Delaware.

The Bottom Line on South Carolina Online Gambling

South Carolina won’t be legalizing online gambling any time soon. There are attempts to push a sports betting bill into law right now, but nobody is optimistic about them, meaning the Palmetto State will have to wait a lot more until they take their first step, let alone legalize online gambling.