Published at 02:49, December 12, 2022 

Updated on December 12, 2022 at 03:08 h.

South Carolina’s lawmakers will get another opportunity to review gaming legislation. J. Todd Rutherford (D. Richland), recently submitted a casino– and sports betting bill.

Spencer Rattler, University of South Carolina quarterback in a game against Clemson. State lawmakers hope to allow sports betting. Image: AP News
The H-3095 Joint Resolution, a Constitutional Amendment that may set the scene for legalized sports betting and casino gaming in South Carolina, is the H 3095 Joint Resolution. Although legislation to allow sports betting in South Carolina passed the House, it failed to make it to the Senate. There’s optimism that with Rutherford prefiling the amendment prior to the start of the 2023 legislative session, policymakers will have more time to consider the measure, thus enhancing its odds of success.
Rutherford is currently the House Minority leader. This could add gravitas to the proposal as well as bipartisan support. Rutherford and William Herbkersman, a Republican from South Carolina, cosponsored House Bill 5277 (HB5277). This bill would allow South Carolina residents the ability to use cryptocurrency for sports betting.
The Rutherford Amendment
In addition to sports wagering, Rutherford’s amendment could pave the way for horse racing and casino gaming in South Carolina, both of which have previously encountered opposition in the state. There was a bipartisan proposal for pari-mutuel legislation last year. But it was quickly defeated.
By adding Section 16 so as to provide that the General Assembly by law, in specified areas of the state, may provide for the conduct of gambling and gaming on which bets are made to include pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, sports betting on professional sports, casino activities, such as card and dice games where the skill of the player is involved in the outcome and games of chance with the use of electronic devices or gaming tables,” according to the proposed amendment.
Rutherford’s amendment explicitly mentions betting on professional sports and makes no mention of college athletics, implying the latter could be off the table. That could make South Carolina’s professional sports teams irrelevant if the amendment is passed. The University of South Carolina and Clemson are the most popular sports teams in South Carolina.
The amendment also doesn’t mention taxes, but under the aforementioned HB 5277, South Carolina sports betting revenue would have been taxed at  10% of adjusted gross — mostly in line with the national average — and require operators to pay a $500K annual fee.
South Carolina has Reasons To Move Forward in Sports Betting
There are advantages to South Carolina moving swiftly on sports betting legislation, assuming that’s the path lawmakers choose. Namely, neighboring North Carolina only permits the activity at tribal casinos, while it’s not yet legal in bordering Georgia.
Of the states in close proximity to South Carolina, only Tennessee currently offers regulated mobile sports wagering, and there’s no related legislation in the works in Alabama or Georgia.
South Carolina boasts 5.19 million residents, and this could prove to be an attractive market for betting operators.

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