Mobile sports betting has its sights on a new state as the operation could be coming to South Carolina under the new legislation that was introduced to the statehouse in Columbia.
Under HB 5277, the South Carolina Lottery Commission would be allowed to issue eight to 12 approved sports betting licenses.
Sports Betting Could Have a Chance in the Palmetto State
The sponsors of HB 5277 are Rep. Bill Herbkersman and House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford. Once the licenses are handed out, mobile sports betting can take place anywhere in the state. Once legalized, those who wish to bet on collegiate sports can also do so.
The path to getting sports betting in the state will take a strong push Rep. William Herbkersman, and Rep. Todd Rutherford have been referred to the House Judiciary Committee for discussion and a possible vote.
The bill must be approved by the House and Senate before going to Gov. Henry McMaster’s desk for consideration. In the past, McMaster has spoken against sports betting as he stated that it goes against South Carolina’s values. He is also up for re-election this upcoming November and may shift his stance on the operation if the race is close.
There is still a lot of time to gain support and push for legalized sports betting as the legislative session ends on June 15th.
Who Could Also Receive a Sports Betting License
If the sports betting market launches in South Carolina, eight to 12 sportsbook operators could receive approved licenses. These bookmakers must partner with a brick-and-mortar casino to enter the state. Professional sports franchises, facilities that host PGA Tour events, and NASCAR promoters would be eligible for a license.
South Carolina isn’t home to major professional organizations but has baseball and hockey minor league teams. These mobile sportsbook operators must also show proof that they live in at least five other states.
For entities that are given licenses when the market launches, the operator must pay a $500,000 license fee to conduct business in the state. The sports betting tax rate in South Carolina is set at 10 percent based on adjusted gross sports betting revenue.
The tax rate that is slated at 10 percent is on the lower end compared to other jurisdictions in the industry. When the state collects taxes from the operators, 80 percent of the revenue will go to the education lottery account. The remainder will go to the general fund that will be used to subsidize other programs in the state like mental health programs.
Sports betting would be allowed for those that are 18 and older. According to the bill, bettors could also fund their accounts with cryptocurrencies if they choose to do so.
Most SEC States Don’t Offer Legalized Sports Betting
Sports betting hasn’t been on the radar in the Southeastern Conference states. If South Carolina legalizes sports betting in the next few months, it will only be the fifth state in the conference to do so.
Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi are the other four that have launched legalized sports wagering. The Seminole Tribe launched Hard Rock Sportsbook, but the app was ultimately shut down after a legal dispute.
Efforts to legalize sports betting failed in Kentucky, Alabama, and Georgia, and mobile sports betting has to wait in Mississippi. Sports betting is under consideration in Missouri at the Capitol in Jefferson City.
Sports betting has faced a lot of opposition in the South. Conservatives and other religious groups believe that legalizing gambling will create compulsive gamblers that will affect a family’s financial stability.