Situated on the south-eastern side of the US, South Carolina is well known for its 187 miles of coastline, beautiful gardens, historical buildings and mix of African and European cultures. South Carolina played a very important role in the American Revolution and, as such, many of the war’s most important landmarks remain today, making it a popular destination for those interested in history. Situated beside the ocean, fishing is a popular pastime for local residents, and there is much to say about the seafood cuisine, which draws some inspiration from its neighbouring states down south. Hiking, horse riding and golf are also some favourite activities for those both visiting and residing in this beautiful state. With so much to see and do, one might not consider gambling to be on the agenda in South Carolina. But what about those in the state who wish to get their game on? What does the law say about it? Are Facebook casinos and mobile social casinos allowed? Read on to find out.
South Carolina Online Gambling Licences
There is a common perception that certain southern states in the US tend to be stricter than their northern counterparts are. In terms of gambling, this is definitely the case in South Carolina, with the law prohibiting any form of betting, and any games involving cards or dice. Understandably, tribal casinos tend to be something of a loophole in terms of operating and regulating land-based casinos in the northern territories of the country, but with South Carolina, there are no such tribal territories and, consequently, no land-based casinos. As a matter of fact, after Utah, South Carolina is considered the most restricted state when it comes to having the freedom to gamble.
Thanks to its proximity to the ocean, residents of South Carolina who wish to gamble without abandon have the option to take ‘casino cruises’. These sail about 3 miles out into international waters, where the law does not apply. Attempts were made even to stop these cruises from operating, but given the fact that the laws cannot hold in international waters, they were allowed to continue. This tradition has existed for many years, and has ironically been the inspiration behind a handful of online casinos themed around casino cruises, particularly the steamships synonymous with the south.
You’d be hard pressed to find any kind of gambling that is allowed within South Carolina’s borders, apart from state lotteries and charitable bingo games. Even then, the form of lottery machines is limited, and charitable bingo games have to be licensed. Yes, residents are welcome to enjoy a bit of horse racing, but they are banned from placing any bets, as counterproductive as that may sound.
Online Gaming Options in South Carolina
Online Casinos and Sportsbooks
As with many states in the US, the laws of South Carolina do not explicitly prohibit online gambling, only the operating of illegal online gambling organisations. That being said, with the state laws being so strict against any and all forms of gambling for profit, many residents consider it a safer bet to stick to fun play casinos, which come with some fun free online slots, as well as free play online casinos and social casino apps.
For those who do still wish to play online for real money, there are a number of internationally-based online casinos who will allow residents of South Carolina to register accounts, such as Bet365. The same rules apply for online casinos as for online sportsbooks – as long as they operate offshore. It is important to remember that the legal gambling age in South Carolina is 21 years of age for casino cruises and 18 for the lottery games.
As already stipulated, there are no land-based casinos in South Carolina. Even owning casino-related paraphernalia like roulette wheels or poker tables is illegal. Sports betting isn’t allowed, even on horse racing. For those locals who aren’t keen on taking to the high seas to enjoy a bit of gambling, the nearest land-based establishment is Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina, close to 200 miles from Columbia, and about 300 miles from Charleston.
While most laws in the US regarding gambling, whether online or in land-based casinos, tend to be somewhat blurry and grey, those governing South Carolina seem to be quite a lot more outright. The fact that casino-related paraphernalia is completely banned, as is the playing of card and dice games, speaks loudly about the laws regarding gambling. While the lottery and charitable bingo games are allowed, these, too, are quite limited.
It only makes sense, then, that residents of this beautiful state are more likely to go on a casino cruise than they are to dabble in the realm of online gaming. While the law does not explicitly ban online gaming, and speaks more about the running of an online gaming institution being against the law, most people are happier to play it safe and learn how to play on Facebook casinos and fun play casinos. These options, while not allowing one to win or withdraw real money, still provide an entertaining experience for people who want to get their game on – without breaking the law. As with many states, there are bills and options to consider in terms of regulating and running casinos and online gaming options, but for now, the state remains one of the most conservative in the world of gambling. In the meantime, casino cruises definitely sound like a fun idea: sun, sea and big wins!