Public hearings on kitchen-table gambling wrapped up this week, with a final hearing in Columbia. The state Senate sponsored two previous hearings: one in Greenville and another in Charleston.
Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell of Charleston says the hearings have been very good.
“Because what they’ve done,” he says, “is to put us in the position to have closely looked at the bill, considered all of the viewpoints, and hopefully discounted all the red herrings that will come, claiming ‘Oh, this would open up gambling in South Carolina.'”
McConnell’s bill would make social gambling legal, by over-riding a two hundred year old statute against certain forms of gambling, that has been enforced even into this year.
He says, “To do nothing is the worst thing we can do, because we have a law on the books that’s not being enforced, except selectively. Then B, it does give a pretense for somebody’s home to be searched, and that shouldn’t be, in this state. Thirdly, it’s an outdated law and it creates disrespect for the law.”
The 19th century anti-gambling statute has been enforced–even into this year, with convictions for poker being played in people’s homes.