Since 1802, South Carolina has had a law in the books that states no raffling or gaming, even in the privacy of one’s home. Senate President Glenn McConnell and a special Senate Judiciary Subcommittee will hear from the public in Rock Hill Tuesday night to try and change the law.
We continue to say, ‘If you think there is something in here that is going to create organized gambling, casinos, video poker, or whatever, give us the language and we will put it in there.’ Lastly, these people that are objecting where we are modernizing the gaming laws, we are willing to put language in the bill that says that any debt created in these games are unenforceable in South Carolina.
McConnell’s legislation was put on hold by both the House and the Senate last session, but now the Charleston senator wants the public to weigh in. He says it doesn’t make sense how a church cannot simply raffle a personal item for money to go on a missions trip.
Tuesday’s public hearing is the second of four hearings across the state. The subcommittee has already heard comments from North Charleston. McConnell says he expects to hear from all sides in Rock Hill. He says the law is written “as-is.”
We just cannot have a country where the police an selectively enforce the law and they can pick and choose what they think it says and what it doesn’t, and where they go and enforce it. It’s unfair to those who follow the black letters of the law. And, if you read that gaming statute, clearly to me at least, in plain language, it says that games with cards and dice are illegal.
McConnell says there are two issues at hand: raffling for non-profits and the gaming statute in the state. These hearings allow simply a chance for the public to let the panel know what their insight is the state’s gaming laws.
McConnell says they will hold two more public hearings, one in Greenville, and one in Florence.