Guide to Gambling in South Carolina

South Carolina

Gambling in South Carolina laws appear restrictive compared to some-other-states in America. No casinos, tribal-or-commercial, are legal within state lines and live poker is practically non-existent. Charitable games are heavily-restricted, and social gambling is implicitly illegal.

Casino cruises launch from South Carolina cities, and the State Lottery is popular, as are the 100% legal Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions.

Since its 2002 launch, the South Carolina State lottery has provided the state with more than $5 billion in revenue, which goes to improving public education outcomes.

South Carolina Casino Gambling

After Utah, South Carolina is the most heavily restricted in terms of casino gambling, and neither commercial or tribal casinos are deemed legal in the Palmetto State.

South Carolina’s Gambling Cruise Act allows for and defines terms for the popular gambling cruises that depart from South Carolina and sail to international waters and provide gambling options in both games of skill and games of chance (blackjack, craps, roulette, Texas Hold’em poker, slots and bingo).

Given the lack of land-based casino options in the Palmetto State, the cruises are a popular gambling diversion of citizens of South Carolina, and its many tourist visitors.

Online Casinos in South Carolina

Unsurprisingly, legal online gaming options in South Carolina are limited exclusively to real money DFS competitions. Online casinos are banned, just like their land-based casino relatives.

Poker in South Carolina

Social ‘home’ Poker games are not legal in South Carolina. Playing home poker games are deemed to contravene South Carolina’s strict anti-gambling laws.

If you’d like to play Poker in South Carolina legally without fear of punitive punishment, see section below for information on the State’s Poker Rooms.

Poker Rooms

No Live Poker options exist in South Carolina proper.

In the good news, live poker options do however exist on the cruise casinos sailing from South Carolina to international waters.

Online Poker Laws

If you’re interested in playing Poker legally without any fear of legal punishment, stick to South Carolina’s land-based casinos for the time being.

Legal online casinos offering online poker among their suite of games are still thought as something akin to fantasy-based science fiction in the Palmetto State with its strict anti-gaming laws.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in South Carolina

1788; South Carolina Statehood. Immediately bans all gambling.

1976; Charitable gambling (limited bingo games) legalized.

1999; Cruise Casinos considered legal by the Supreme Court.

2002; South Carolina ‘Education’ Lottery is held for the first time.

2008; Cruise Casinos officially legalized and regulated.

2016; DFS legalization bill defeated in South Carolina’s State House.F

2017; Gambling expansion bill H 3102 (seeking to legalize land-based casinos complete with sports betting options and horse racing betting in South Carolina) fails to pass the State Legislature.

2019-2022: State bills attempting to legalize sports gambling in South Carolina are introduced, but nothing materializes.

Visit our South Carolina Sports Betting Page for more information on the states laws and legal sports betting Operators