South Carolina's Sports Betting Bill Faces Uncertain Legislative Journey
South Carolina’s House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Revenue Policy began hearings on a sports betting bill (H.B. 3749) that would legalize up to eight sports betting apps, with no prohibitions on college sports, and available to anyone 18 years or older. This marks the state’s fourth time considering a sports betting bill in five years, and Governor Henry McMaster has been a staunch opponent. The bill would have to make it past the full committee vote before reaching the governor’s desk, but no sports betting bill has made it beyond the committee stages thus far. NASCAR and the PGA Tour representatives testified during the hearing, and the bill designates each for one of the eight licenses due to their physical presence in the state, while the other six licenses would be available only to operators already licensed in at least five other states, possibly excluding newcomers Fanatics and Betr. Each operator would pay $50,000 to apply for a license and an additional $450,000 should they receive one, and operators would pay a 10% tax on revenue, which could translate to $23 million annually for the state. The revenue would be split among the general fund, local governments, and responsible gaming oversight. The bill is modeled after Tennessee’s online-only sports betting law and North Carolina’s recently passed sports betting bill, with the legal betting age set at 18, unlike most other legal states where the age requirement is 21.