It doesn’t seem like online sports betting will be coming to South Carolina any time soon either. Lawmakers in the state have yet to take up the issue even with the NCAA tournament still taking place this year. With no talk of legislative action even occurring by 2021, it appears as if the South Carolina’s appetite for legalized sports betting may be nonexistent. But that doesn’t mean betting is completely dead in South Carolina. It just may very well remain on the fringes of the legal industry in the state.
One reason why gambling isn’t moving beyond the bounds of the Carolinas is because of political obstacles. The fact that gambling has been banned in three states without absolute precedence doesn’t help the lawmakers feel comfortable legalizing sports betting in the Carolinas. That means at least for the time being, betting on college games will continue to remain at a virtual standstill in the Carolinas. However, it could be a matter of time before officials make up their minds about lifting the ban. After all, the NCAA has put enough pressure on the North Carolina government that they may feel pressure from leagues like the NFL to come up with a solution to the problem.
Politicians in the south Carolina House and Senate have been attempting to come up with a solution to the problem of unlicensed gambling by placing a ban on sports betting in the state. They passed a bill in April, which is awaiting a full vote in the General Assembly. If it passes, that would make gaming and gambling in the state against the law. In addition to that, the move by the Senate comes as some form of a reaction to the recent news that a former top official for the county where Charlotte is located has been charged with accepting payments from bookmakers to place bets on the races.
In an interview on ESPN Radio’s “The Sports Show,” outgoing North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper discussed the possibility of taking away sports betting from the board of trustees in the State of North Carolina. “I’m not sure how serious of a situation this is but it does appear to be a problem,” he said. “You can expect anything that comes out of the board of trustees to be at the top of their agenda. I think it’s very important that the people of North Carolina to take this seriously because it’s a big deal for them,” he added. He did not have a position one way or another on whether the charges were correct, saying only that he had no comments on the matter at this time. He also said he looked forward to hearing from the NCAA and lottery’s sports betting initiative committee.
The NCAA has not released any reports regarding any meetings or discussions regarding the upcoming changes in the regulation of online gambling in the south. Gambling has long been considered to be an illegal activity in the State of North Carolina. There are some local residents and business owners in the area who have openly expressed concerns about the impact the new law could have on their businesses. These individuals have raised questions about whether the ban on sports books will hurt the south’s economy, considering that many people rely on the sportsbooks as their primary source of income.
A group called the Business and Sports Writers Association have called for a boycott of the NCAA schedule, games and events until the issues are resolved. Dan Farmer, one of the writers for the article, told the Associated Press that he doesn’t think the current controversy will go away before the February NCAA basketball tournament sets get underway. “Numerous sports book operators have already said they’re not going to cover this topic again this year. According to one official, the NCAA is making a big mistake by not having the facts and figures straight.” Mr. Farmer went on to say that many residents in the area have bet on the college teams and have stopped due to the law.
Many sports books in the area have already lost hundreds of dollars in revenue since the enacted law was enacted. This leaves many customers dissatisfied and with no way to make money. Jim McAllister, the chair of the board of the Carolina Sports Writers Association, said the players and teams don’t need any more explaining about the law’s effects on the gaming industry. “It’s obvious to anybody that this is a problem for everyone in the state of South Carolina. If the NCAA is really worried about the economic impact to the south Carolina sports betting community, they should stop promoting the teams during the NCAA schedule and address the issues at hand.”
Mr. Farmer added, “This trend of individuals looking for a place to do their gambling has resulted in several locations being put up. It appears to be that those locations may violate the law if a resident were to drink while playing any of the games.” While the boycott seems like a large-scale attempt to eliminate southern Carolina’s professional sports teams from events, the boycott has its roots in the local residents. Many residents believe that the new law is unfair and will negatively affect the South Carolina economy.