South Carolina has not yet legalized sports betting, leaving residents with no legal options for retail or mobile sports betting. However, some individuals are still placing bets using applications that work in other states or utilizing the services of unlicensed operators.
Lawmakers in South Carolina are considering the legalization of sports betting in the state, with hopes of reaping benefits such as tax revenue. House Bill 3514, also known as the Equine Advancement Act, aims to establish an advance-deposit wagering system for the Palmetto State. This system would allow bettors to add funds to their accounts before placing a sports wager.
Introduced earlier this year, HB 3514 has made progress, passing the House Judiciary Committee. It is now set to move to the South Carolina Senate for consideration in January of next year. Stakeholders in the equine industry have emphasized the importance of legalizing sports wagering in the state ahead of the Fall Steeplechase in Aiken, scheduled for November 18, 2023.
Frank Mullins, president of the Aiken Steeplechase Association, highlighted the financial challenges faced by the equine sector. He noted that the maintenance of the sector requires a significant financial investment and stressed the potential benefits of sports betting legalization for the state.
Mullins pointed out that despite sports betting happening in the state, South Carolina is missing out on tax revenue from these activities due to the absence of legislation regulating the industry.
In addition to the advance-deposit wagering system, HB 3514 proposes the creation of an Equine Industry Development Fund to provide support for horse racetracks like the Aiken Training Track.
Bill Gutfarb, president of the Aiken Training Track, expressed optimism about the potential impact of the legislation on the equine industry. He believes that the proposal could help the sector grow by attracting horses and trainers and emphasized the importance of engaging with lawmakers to support the change.