Broad Sports Gambling Bill Introduced In South Carolina

South Carolina lawmakers have introduced an expansive sports gambling bill.  The bill would legalize both online and retail sports wagering throughout the Palmetto State.  The legislation was officially introduced in the state’s House this past Thursday.  The bill has since been referred to the South Carolina Judiciary Committee.

Details Of The Proposed Bill

The new South Carolina sports gambling bill, officially referred to as HB 5277, carries a 10% tax.  Rep. William Herbkersman introduced the legislation.  Rep. Todd Rutherford served as the legislation’s co-sponsor.  South Carolina’s current legislative session is set to end by the midpoint of June, meaning the stage is set for lawmakers to hash out an agreement pertaining to the legalization of sports gambling.

All in all, the bill lays the groundwork for between eight and a dozen web-based sports gambling platforms to operate in South Carolina.  However, the bill’s language calls for those platform operators to pair up with a state entity for operation.  The legislation also allows for professional sports teams, stock car racing national touring promoters and groups that host professional golf events to apply for their own sports gambling licenses so they can pair up with an operator.

The Cost Of Doing Business

The groups that are awarded with the coveted sports gambling license will have to pay a licensing fee of half a million dollars along with an application fee that is non-refundable.  The bill also establishes the aforementioned 10% tax rate.  The tax rate is applicable to adjusted gross sports wagering revenue without promotional credits or free play offers to customers factored in.  

It is worth noting this tax rate is relatively low compared to that of other states.  This low tax rate is a major victory for sportsbooks as well as sports gambling investors.

What About College Sports Gambling?

Everyone who has been to South Carolina is well aware of the fact that the state is all about college sports.  South Carolina is home to the South Carolina Gamecocks and the Clemson Tigers, both of which are college sports powerhouses.  The bill described above would permit college sports betting.  

The Role Of Crypto In The Bill

Cryptocurrency investors will be intrigued by the South Carolina sports gambling bill’s mention of cryptocurrency as a means of funding accounts.  Though some operators have questioned whether it is prudent to accept crypto, it is clear that sports gamblers would like the option to do so.

What Will Be The Fate Of The Bill?

As most South Carolinians are aware, HB 5277 is the state’s second sports gambling bill proposed within the past three years.  The original bill, HB 3395, was proposed by Rep. Rutherford back in 2020.  That bill pushed for the legalization of sports gambling in the Palmetto State by way of an amendment to its Constitution.  

Though the original bill was lacking in specifics and did not have a specific tax rate appliable to sportsbooks, it mentioned that tax proceeds would be used for statewide infrastructure.  HB 3395 never reached the floor for a vote.  Rather, the bill was stuck in limbo within the House Committee on Judiciary in 2021.  However, the fact that the state’s original piece of sports gambling legislation was expected to raise $40 million in annual taxes for the state gives hope that HB 5277 will pass into law.

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