Best Casinos in South Carolina

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Updated on: March 10th, 2022

There are no physical land-based casinos in South Carolina. In fact, the only forms of gambling allowed in the state are bingo and the lottery. However the laws have a loophole that allows casino operators to offer gambling games on cruise ships to anyone over the age of 21. Gambling in the Palmetto State happens 3 miles off the coast and into international waters. The casinos in South Carolina are riverboats that venture off into intention waters where gambling is permitted and not against state and federal jurisdiction.

Our team of experts has put together a thorough South Carolina gambling guide players can use to understand the state of gambling in the state fully.

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Is Gambling Legal In South Carolina?

Most forms of gambling are prohibited in South Carolina. Slots and Video poker machines have been banned in the state. South Carolina also does not have a state gaming commission as casino gaming is illegal in the state. In terms of restrictive gambling laws, South Carolina is up there. There are very few gambling forms that are allowed in the state, such as bingo and the lottery.

The only place to gamble in SC besides the state lottery is on the Big M Casino Cruise.

Gambling In South Carolina

Cruise Ship Casinos in South Carolina

Vegas-styled gambling is only available on four luxury yachts- two Big “M” Casino cruises and two Carnival Cruise ships . The yachts travel into international waters and offer a number of gambling options. Players can enjoy slot games as well as various table games.

Ship 1 has 158 slot machines and ship 2 and just over 240 slots. Both ships over craps, blackjack, roulette, 3-card poker and let it ride table games. The ships cruise year-round and have an optional buffet.

The other gambling establishments in South Carolina include the Catawba Bingo Hall which operated by the Catawba Native American tribe. The bingo hall is located in Rock Hill.

South Carolina Lottery

South Carolina is limited to charitable bingo as well as the lottery as these are currently the only gambling offered with state borders. Charitable bingo games are played under strict rules. The game is only permitted to charge players a set entry-amount and the prize pool has to be announced prior to the games night. Charitable bingo games are also prohibited from being based on the prize pool.

The South Carolina lottery only sells lotto drawing tickets as well as scratch cards. Players can table part in popular lottery titles such as the Powerball and the Mega Millions. The largest lottery winning in South Carolina was in 2019 amounting to $1.5 Million. The lottery is run to benefit educational interest in the state.

Is Gambling Legal in South Carolina?

Currently, as it stands there are no forms of online gambling that have been legalized. The state laws have only identified three legal gambling forms: raffles, lottery, and bingo. Online gambling is not the list of legal gambling forms, therefore, making it illegal. However, there are no laws that explicitly state gambling online as illegal. Players in the Palmetto state can place bets at offshore sites that are licensed and regulated.

There are various daily fantasy sports sites that accept players from South Carolina. After a prolonged court case poker is confirmed to be a game of chance rather than skill. The ruling means that online poker and land-based poker both remain forbidden in the state

History of Gambling In South Carolina

There was a time when casinos in South Carolina were more popular than those in Nevada, the same goes for the gambling industry. There were several casinos situated across the state. In 1788 the state banned all gambling forms, and only in the 1900s did the state get back into the gambling industry. In 1976 the Bingo act was passed, which allowed players to take part in charitable games the games would, however, have to be under strict rules. 2001 marked the start of the state lottery. Gambling cruises were legalized after voters rejected tribal gambling establishments in 2003.

South Carolina Gambling FAQs

Does South Carolina have casinos?

South Carolina only has casino gambling on cruise ships , no land-based casinos

How many casinos are in South Carolina?

There are four casino cruises in South Carolina.

Why are there no casinos in South Carolina?

The constitution bars casinos and gambling.

Which states near SC have casinos?

Of the two states flanking SC, only North Carolina has Native American Casinos

Is gambling legal in South Carolina?

Gambling in South Carolina is only legal on casino cruise ships and at the state lottery.

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