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South Carolina Sports Betting Updates

Sports betting is currently illegal in South Carolina. Online and retail sports betting aren’t expected to be legalized in SC until 2023 at the earliest.

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Best Daily Fantasy Sports Sites in South Carolina 2022

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Sports betting sites are illegal in South Carolina. However, sports fans in SC can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

South Carolina Sports Betting Summary

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster summed up the state’s attitude toward sports betting when he said: "gambling flies in the face of everything South Carolina stands for”. That’s why it’s no surprise that both retail and online sports betting are not legal in SC yet.

South Carolina is one of the strictest states in the US regarding gambling laws. The only legal gambling options available in South Carolina are bingo, lottery, and raffles. There are no casinos and no pari-mutuel wagering.

Attempts have been made to legalize sports betting, with Senator Gerald Malloy sponsoring three bills in 2019. However, all three bills didn’t find enough support. In addition, Representative Todd Rutherford and Rep. Lucas Atkinson filed HB 3395 in 2021 to legalize retail sports betting but this bill didn’t make it out of the House. Rep. William Herbkersman and Rep. Rutherford put HB 5277 forward in April 2022. However, this bill failed to make it past the Committee on Judiciary.

South Carolina residents will vote on who their governor should be in November 2022, and Gov. McMaster will run against Democratic nominee Joe Cunningham. The latter is a vocal supporter of bringing online sports betting to South Carolina and, if Cunningham wins the election, the landscape could change significantly.

Read our South Carolina betting guide to discover the latest legislative developments and legal alternatives to online sports betting in the Palmetto State.

South Carolina Online Sportsbooks Summary

Online sports betting is illegal in South Carolina, and currently there isn’t much support for sports betting in the state. However, this could change depending on the result of the state governor elections in November 2022, as Democratic nominee Cunningham is a big supporter of sports betting.

While no sportsbooks have lobbied or made any official announcements about launching in SC, DraftKings and FanDuel will likely launch as both brands’ Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) already operate in the state. In the past, these sportsbooks have used this infrastructure to launch in states quickly after the legalization of sports betting. In addition, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina is partnered with the Carolina Panthers, and has a sportsbook operated by Caesars. Considering how popular the Panthers are in SC, Caesars will likely launch its betting site when sports betting is legalized.

Neither of the Palmetto State’s neighbors permit online sports wagering. However, you can visit retail sportsbooks operated by Caesars in neighboring North Carolina. You can also travel to Tennessee, where online sports betting is legal, and wager with nine sportsbooks – Barstool, BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel, Tennessee Action 24/7, TwinSpires, Wagr, and WynnBET.

In South Carolina you can play DFS games provided by ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, FanDuel, and DraftKings, focusing on sports like the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB.

Who is Eligible to Bet in SC?

Since the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), every state has its own rules towards sports betting, but you must be at least 21 years old to gamble in most legal betting states in the US.

If South Carolina legalizes sports betting, it could use neighbors North Carolina as a template for wagering restrictions. With this in mind, any individual listed below will likely be prohibited from betting in SC:

  • Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional sports and college teams.

  • Individuals with a stake in a sports team.

  • Individuals employed by the leagues that create rules for sports (e.g., NFL, NCAA).

  • Individuals with the professional authority to influence players.

  • Referees for professional and college sports leagues.

  • Individuals with non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records).

  • Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities via a self-exclusion program.

  • Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).

Latest South Carolina Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in South Carolina

Sports betting is not legal in South Carolina. That means there are no retail sportsbooks, and you can’t place any bets online. It is unlikely sports betting will launch soon, as Gov. McMaster and many SC lawmakers oppose wagering. You can visit nearby Tennessee to place online sports bets or go to North Carolina and visit retail sportsbooks. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are, however, available for South Carolina residents.

Timeline for Sports Betting in South Carolina

  • April 21, 2022: HB 5277, sponsored by Rep. Herbkersman and Rep. Rutherford to legalize retail and online sports betting, is read to the House. The bill was referred to the Committee on Judiciary and not discussed further.

  • January 12, 2021: Rep. Rutherford and Rep. Atkinson introduce HB 3395, a bill to legalize South Carolina sports betting, to the House. The bill is referred to the Committee on Judiciary and proceeds no further.

  • January 8, 2019: Sen. Malloy introduces SB 71 to the Senate, which plans to create a gambling study committee. The committee would have investigated the potential of sports betting in South Carolina and reported findings by January 31, 2020. However, SB 71 was sent to the Committee on Judiciary and died.

  • January 8, 2019: HJR 3409 and SJR 57, joint bills to legalize sports betting and pari-mutuel wagering, are introduced to the House and Senate by Rep. Kambrell H. Garvin, Rep. Rutherford, and Sen. Malloy. However, the bills are sent to the Committee on Judiciary and die.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). Individual states can choose whether to legalize sports betting.

South Carolina Sports Betting Background

South Carolina’s attitude towards gambling has been set from the start, with the state banning all forms of gambling when it formed in 1788. Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) have not been formally legalized, but you can use the likes of ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, FantasyDraft, DraftKings, and FanDuel to play them in SC. This is because the state follows the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which determined that games of skill are permitted across the US, including DFS.

There have been efforts to legalize sports betting from Sen. Malloy and Rep. Rutherford, but the state lawmakers have rejected changes so far. Sen. Ross Turner noted concerns such as “outside interests” from operators and “outside money” influencing political decisions as a reason to not legalize sports betting.

Future of South Carolina Sports Betting

After two failed attempts to legalize sports betting in 2021 and 2022, another effort is likely in 2023. State governor elections are being held in November 2022. The current Gov. McMaster has publicly declared he is anti-sports betting. His opponent in the election, Democratic nominee Cunningham, is a vocal supporter of sports betting. If there is a change of governor in November, the outlook for legal sports betting in South Carolina may start to look brighter.

No sportsbooks have made any formal announcement about launching in South Carolina, but major brands like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars are expected to apply for licenses if the state legalizes wagering. In addition, BetMGM is one of four sportsbooks partnered with NASCAR, and there is a NASCAR racetrack at Darlington Raceway. BetMGM, Fubo Sportsbook, WynnBET, and Barstool Sportsbook may all capitalize on the popularity of the sport and launch in SC.

South Carolina Sports Betting Locations

As well as having no sportsbooks, South Carolina is not home to any land-based casinos. Proposals to allow casinos to launch in coastal areas like Myrtle Beach, sponsored by Sen. Malloy and Rep. Rutherford, were rejected in 2013 and 2017. No current legislation would suggest casinos will open in the state soon. Bettors can travel to North Carolina, where Caesars operates two retail sportsbooks. A third sportsbook will open in fall 2022 at the Catawba Two Kings Casino. The Catawba Nation is based in South Carolina.

South Carolina Lottery Locations

The South Carolina Education Lottery launched in 2002 and is a member of the Multi-State Lottery Association. Previous attempts to legalize sports betting in South Carolina have not included proposals for sports betting kiosks in lottery locations. It’s unlikely lottery retailers will be able to provide sports betting in the future.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

Pari-mutuel betting is illegal in South Carolina, despite the state hosting the Carolina Cup since 1932 at the Springdale Race Course. Online horse racing betting is also prohibited. As retail sports betting is not legal, you can’t place wagers at stadiums either.

South Carolina Responsible Gambling Resources

No sports betting bills have progressed very far in SC, so it’s not certain what responsible gambling measures the state would employ. Operators would likely be expected to offer a variety of responsible gambling measures like account limits and exclusions. Most of the biggest operators who could be expected to launch in South Carolina offer these measures across the US.

Teams to Bet on in South Carolina

  • Pro Sports

Technically, there aren’t any major league sports teams based in South Carolina. However, the NFL’s Carolina Panthers are one of two teams in the league representing more than one state, the other being the New England Patriots. While home games are played in Charlotte, North Carolina, the team runs its annual training camp from Spartanburg, South Carolina. In addition, dirt from each county in both Carolinas was used when the stadium was built.

Aside from football, many South Carolina sports fans choose to support franchises in nearby states. You can see some of the most popular teams below:

Georgia North Carolina Tennessee
Atlanta Falcons (NFL) Carolina Panthers (NFL) Tennessee Titans (NFL)
Atlanta Hawks (NBA) Charlotte Hornets (NBA) Memphis Grizzlies (NBA)
Atlanta Braves (MLB) Carolina Hurricanes (NHL) Nashville Predators (NHL)
  • Minor League Sports

A number of minor league sports teams call South Carolina home, with baseball in particular proving a big draw in the Palmetto State. The Augusta GreenJackets, the Charleston RiverDogs, the Columbia Fireflies and the Myrtle Beach Pelicans all play Single-A baseball in the Carolina League, with the Fireflies and the Pelicans affiliated to MLB outfits Kansas City Royals and Chicago Cubs respectively. Meanwhile, Greenville Drive are a High-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox competing in the South Atlantic League, and count MLB stars Rafael Furcal, Terry Pendleton, and Andruw Jones among their alumni.

Greenville Swamp Rabbits and South Carolina Stingrays play ice hockey in the ECHL’s South Division of the Eastern Conference, with the Stingrays having won six conference championships and three Kelly Cups while entertaining up to 13,000 fans at the North Charleston Coliseum.

  • College Sports

Charleston Southern Buccaneers: The Charleston Southern University Buccaneers have 15 varsity teams competing in the Big South Conference. The Buccaneers play their home basketball games in the CSU Field House. This 881-capacity arena is the second-smallest basketball venue in all of Division I basketball.

Clemson Tigers: The Tigers ofClemson University have had great success in recent years, including winning the football National Championship in 2016 and 2018. Home football games are played in 82,500-seater Memorial Stadium, the largest stadium in the ACC, more commonly known as Death Valley. The Tigers enjoy a historic rivalry with the South Carolina Gamecocks, where they lead the all-time head-to-head record in both football and baseball.

Coastal Carolina Chanticleers: Competing in the Sun Belt Conference, Coastal Carolina University’s Chanticleers made history in 2016 by winning the College Baseball World Series. This was the first-ever national title in the school’s history.

College of Charleston Cougars: The College of Charleston Cougars has 20 varsity teams competing in the Colonial Athletic Association. Their standout sport is co-ed sailing, and the school has won 14 National Championships.

Furman Paladins Furman University has consistently punched above its weight as one of the smallest Division I schools in the US, competing in the Southern Conference. The Paladins’ men’s soccer program boasts Clint Dempsey, the USMNT’s all-time joint-top goal scorer, as a former player.

Presbyterian Blue Hose: Presbyterian College’s Blue Hose nickname comes from the early 20th century socks the football team used to wear. Playing in the Big South Conference, the school has rivalries with Furman University, The Citadel, and Wofford College.

South Carolina Gamecocks: Famed for their maroon and black uniforms, the University of South Carolina Gamecocks have won five NCAA Team Championships across men’s baseball, women’s basketball, and women’s track and field. Home football games are played at Williams-Brice Stadium, one of the largest stadiums in America, with a capacity of 77,559. Since 2008, the team has played Darude’s song, Sandstorm, before every game while fans wave white towels above their heads.

South Carolina State Bulldogs: Represented by 13 varsity teams, the South Carolina State University Bulldogs compete in the Mid-Eastern Atlantic Conference. The Bulldogs football team is the most successful team in MEAC history, winning 16 Conference Championships.

The Citadel Bulldogs: Competing in the Southern Conference, The Citadel Bulldogs have had the most success in baseball, winning 13 Conference Championships. In 1990, The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina became the first ever military school to reach the College World Series. Famed Southern author Pat Conroy is an alumnus, and his 2002 memoir ‘My Losing Season’ details his experience captaining the 1966-67 Bulldogs basketball team.

USC Upstate Spartans: The University of South Carolina Upstate Spartans compete in the Big South Conference, having left the ASUN Conference in 2018. They are cheered on at games by their mascot Sparty the Spartan.

Winthrop Eagles: Winthrop University is a member of the Big South Conference, and its Eagles have won Conference Championships in baseball, softball, basketball, and soccer. The most successful program in school history has been women’s tennis, where the Lady Eagles won 20 Big South Tournament Championships in 28 years up to 2022.

Wofford Terriers: 18 Wofford College Terriers teams compete in the Southern Conference. The Terriers enjoyed basketball success in the 2010s, including a national ranking and a final 32 postseason appearance.

  • Women's Sports

There are no professional women’s sports teams in South Carolina, but every Division I college sponsors a variety of women’s sports. The most famous and well-supported women’s sports team in South Carolina is the South Carolina Gamecocks women’s basketball team. Since 2012 they have been one of the best basketball programs in the country, winning National Championships in 2017 and 2022.

How Does South Carolina Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

If sports betting launches in South Carolina, major US operators like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel will likely be the first to launch. These operators are available in more than a dozen states and often launch as sports betting goes live. Caesars operates in North Carolina and provides betting lines on the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, NASCAR, MMA, softball, soccer, tennis, and golf, among other sports. South Carolina would likely welcome betting on similar sports.

HB 5277, which lawmakers tried to pass in the 2022 legislative session, listed no restrictions on collegiate sports betting. This followed other states like Michigan and Pennsylvania which allow bettors to wager on NCAA sports freely. However, if a successful sports betting bill in SC may have to compromise on this to appease lawmakers concerned with putting pressure on young athletes.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

The biggest sportsbooks tend to get involved with newly-legalized states early, and we expect that to be the same if South Carolina makes wagering legal. Caesars, PointsBet, Barstool Sportsbook, and other big brands offer the same betting odds across every US state. That means players in South Carolina would get the same odds as players in New Jersey. Caesars operates two retail sportsbooks in North Carolina and offers generous odds on NFL games, including those featuring the Carolina Panthers.

  • Gambling Revenue

South Carolina is missing out on significant tax revenue by not legalizing sports betting, with Democratic nominee Cunningham estimating sports betting revenue tax could generate up to $40 million a year. This seems unrealistic considering huge sports betting state Michigan had only raised over $16 million in taxes as of June 2022 since launching sports betting in March 2020. Michigan has a population of around 10 million, double South Carolina’s 5 million.

A better comparison for South Carolina is Louisiana, with the Pelican State’s population of around four-and-a-half million is much closer to South Carolina’s, and the state has a 15% tax rate for online sportsbooks. South Carolina’s failed HB 5277 included provisions for a 10% tax rate on sportsbooks. Louisiana has two major league sports teams compared to South Carolina’s affiliation with the North Carolina-based Carolina Panthers. However, this advantage may be offset by the parish limitations on betting in LA. As of May 2022, Louisiana had collected $12,607,137 in taxes in the seven months wagering had been available. A figure like this seems much closer to the realistic amount of missed taxes in SC.

  • Betting Taxes

All sports bettors in the US need to declare gambling winnings to the IRS, regardless of local regulations. You need to fill out a W-2G form if you win more than $600, and sportsbooks can hold up to 25% of your winnings for tax purposes. If sports betting is legalized in South Carolina, winnings would also need to be included in your state income tax. Income tax ranges from 0% to 7%, depending on your income.

Sportsbooks must also follow the Internal Revenue Code and pay a 0.25% excise tax on every monthly betting handle. In addition, for every employee involved in taking wagers, there is a $50 fine.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in South Carolina?

There is no sports betting in South Carolina, so there is no regulatory body at present. If sports betting was legalized, a new regulatory body would need to be created or SC would give oversight to an existing body. One candidate is the South Carolina Education Lottery, but the state lottery has not been included in any attempted legislation like other areas such as Washington DC. The South Carolina Department of Revenue Bingo Licensing and Enforcement is the only other gambling regulatory body in the Palmetto State. However, this is unlikely as the Department doesn’t have the scope to deal with online and retail sports betting.

FAQs

Is betting legal in South Carolina?

No, betting is not legal in South Carolina. All South Carolina gambling, including retail and online sports betting, is illegal except for the state lottery, raffles, and bingo.

Who governs sports betting in South Carolina?

There is no regulatory body for sports betting in South Carolina. If sports betting was legalized, legislation would likely have to create a new regulatory body.

How old do you have to be to bet in South Carolina?

The legal gambling age to bet in South Carolina will probably be 21, mirroring rules in most US legal betting states, including neighboring North Carolina.

When will sports betting launch in South Carolina?

Sports betting in South Carolina won’t be legalized until 2023 at the earliest, and currently there is not much support to push this through. There were attempts to legalize sports betting in 2019, 2021, and 2022, but they all failed.

Where will I be able to bet on sports in South Carolina?

There are currently no options available for sports betting in South Carolina. The closest location for sports betting is either driving to one of two retail sportsbooks in North Carolina or travelling to Tennessee and using online sportsbooks in the Volunteer State.

Are sportsbooks in South Carolina safe?

Any sportsbook offering betting in South Carolina is illegal and unsafe. Trusted authorities do not regulate these sites, and there are no guarantees these sportsbooks will pay out or provide a fair and secure service. You can, however, play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in SC.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in South Carolina?

All gamblers in the US must declare gambling winnings to the IRS. If you win more than $600, you must fill out a W-2G form. You also need to include your gambling winnings when paying your income tax.

Can you play DraftKings in South Carolina?

No, DraftKings is not available in South Carolina. You can travel to Tennessee and use DraftKings legally online. DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are, though, available in SC.

Can you play FanDuel in South Carolina?

No, you cannot bet with FanDuel in South Carolina. The closest state where FanDuel sports betting is available is Tennessee. However, you can play FanDuel’s Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games legally in SC.

Can you play BetMGM in South Carolina?

No, you can’t bet with BetMGM in South Carolina. All sports betting is illegal in SC. However, BetMGM is available in nearby Tennessee.

Can you play Caesars in South Carolina?

You can’t use Caesars Sportsbook in South Carolina because sports betting hasn’t been legalized. However, you can visit neighboring North Carolina and wager at retail sportsbooks.

Can you play TwinSpires in South Carolina?

No, you can’t use TwinSpires in South Carolina. TwinSpires is shutting down its sports betting operation soon, so bettors aren’t missing out.

Which sportsbooks will be available in South Carolina in the future?

If South Carolina betting is legalized, you can expect the biggest operators in the US to launch, like DraftKings, Caesars, BetMGM, FanDuel, and PointsBet.