South Carolina Legislators Refrain From Sports Betting Debate

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Since being sent to the Judiciary Committee on January 8, the three bills that would permit legal sports betting in South Carolina have made no advancement.

South Carolina residents were expecting House Bill 3409Senate Bill 57, or Senate Bill 71 to make quick advancement through the legislature as they were all prefiled in December of last year.

The bills have now spent six weeks in committee without any discussion or amendments made to them.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has over 150 bills to review this session; however, a quarter of the legislative session has already passed.

If any of the two Senate bills are discussed and pass a vote in committee, the House would have to do a first reading and send it down the line to their Judiciary Committee. Upon the House committee agreeing to it, it would be up to Governor McMaster to sign the bill into law.

McMaster has opposed an expansion of gambling in the past and his Republican-backed lawmakers seem to follow suit.

However, Senate Bill 71 would be the likeliest to move through legislation at the bill only allows for a “gambling study committee to be formed. The committee would explore the options, benefits, and disadvantages of creating a legal industry in the state and would have until January 31, 2020 to report their findings.

Bills in South Carolina are read in committee in the order of the ones that have the most sponsors. Both Senate Bills are sponsored only by Senator Gerald Malloy (D-Darlington).

Malloy will do everything in his power to have his bills heard as he sits upon on the judiciary committee.

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