South Carolina


The State of South Carolina does not care for illegal lotteries at all with punishment for operators that, ‘MUST,’ consist of a fine of $1,000 and imprisonment of one year.  

In terms of unlawful gambling, mere players can be fined up to $100 and face thirty days in jail. There are stiffer fines in place for operators who may face up to twelve months imprisonment and fines up to two thousand dollars for each individual offense:

SECTION 16-19-40. Unlawful games and betting.

If any person shall play at any tavern, inn, store for the retailing of spirituous liquors or in any house used as a place of gaming, barn, kitchen, stable or other outhouse, street, highway, open wood, race field or open place at (a) any game with cards or dice, (b) any gaming table, commonly called A, B, C, or E, O, or any gaming table known or distinguished by any other letters or by any figures, (c) any roley-poley table, (d) rouge et noir, (e) any faro bank (f) any other table or bank of the same or the like kind under any denomination whatsoever or (g) any machine or device licensed pursuant to Section 12-21-2720 and used for gambling purposes, except the games of billiards, bowls, backgammon, chess, draughts, or whist when there is no betting on any such game of billiards, bowls, backgammon, chess, draughts, or whist or shall bet on the sides or hands of such as do game, upon being convicted thereof, before any magistrate, shall be imprisoned for a period of not over thirty days or fined not over one hundred dollars, and every person so keeping such tavern, inn, retail store, public place, or house used as a place for gaming or such other house shall, upon being convicted thereof, upon indictment, be imprisoned for a period not exceeding twelve months and forfeit a sum not exceeding two thousand dollars, for each and every offense.

In 2010, interestingly enough, there was a raid of two businesses in which three video gambling machines were confiscated along with $18,000. Perhaps most interesting is that, of the seven arrests, four of them were of people acting only as players for, ‘Illegal gambling.’

South Carolina will even go after small-time operators such as this man who had three machines and $11,000 confiscated from a residential property.

Not all busts are small, however, such as this one in which $180,000 was confiscated.

South Carolina is a state that is strict on gambling (there is no legal form of gambling) and is very serious about enforcing the laws. However, we can find no instance of anyone being arrested for online gambling while acting as a mere player. 

We doubt that there will ever be an arrest of an individual acting as only a player for online gambling, but in all other aspects, South Carolina is extremely serious about enforcing their gambling laws. They probably would enforce the laws against players playing online if that had any serious means by which to detect them. For these reasons, we are assigning South Carolina the highest ranking as pertains to restrictiveness.


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