A legislative panel heard concerns from the public in North Charleston last night about the state’s gaming and raffling laws. Charities across South Carolina told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee panel that they are struggling since they stopped holding raffles due to legal concerns. Senator Glenn McConnell, who appointed the panel, says he’s ready to take action come next session.
We finally got it out of the committee, but last year they tied it up on the floor. So, my strategy now is I’m not going to let them hide it on page 30 or 50 of the calendar. It’s going to be in your face and up for discussion when we return in January.
McConnell says a church should be able to hold a raffle without it being illegal in South Carolina. Current law states all games of chance are illegal. McConnell’s plan is for voters to be able to vote in 2012 on a constitutional amendment that makes charity raffles legal. At the hearing, there were two sides heard as one pastor said the law should stand because games of chance violate the teachings of the Bible. On the other side, one man spoke about the Lions Club in Charleston, a volunteer organization, and how it has lost about $500,000 since it stopped holding raffles.
The panel will also hear from the public in Greenville, Florence and Rock Hill.