By Paul Gable
A bill South Carolina legislators say will close the current loopholes in state gambling laws making internet sweepstakes games illegal is awaiting Gov. Nikki Haley’s signature to become law.
After failing to pass a similar bill last year, legislators wasted no time in this new legislative session getting the ban in place.
The legislation clarifies what has been a messy situation throughout the state where the games were considered illegal in some jurisdictions and legal in others. In Horry County it was both with Myrtle Beach allowing the games, until SLED raids closed several parlors in the city recently, while the games were considered illegal in the unincorporated areas of the county.
Defenders of internet sweepstakes say it is not gambling. We agree with them. It’s worse!
Results are all predetermined. There is no skill or chance involved. You will not get back more money than you spend.
It is not unlike transferring $50 from your bank account to a gaming parlor every time you enter. Occasionally, the gaming parlor will transfer $5 or $10 back to you at random times for no apparent reason, except that a computer program said it should happen.
Challenges to this legislation will inevitably occur. Video gaming is big business with a good gaming room able to generate cash profits of $25,000 per day or more, according to industry experts.
A question arises whether passing legislation of this type is the best use of legislators’ time doing the people’s work.
The state is happy because it maintains a monopoly on gambling within its borders through the education lottery.
The Christian right is happy because the morals of the people have been saved again with social legislation.
And the potholes keep getting bigger because the same legislators have yet to come up with a solution to funding road repairs.