South Carolina Casinos – Best Places to Gamble in SC

South Carolina is a tough spot for casino lovers since there aren’t any commercial or Indian gaming casinos in the state. The only federally recognized tribe is the Catawba Indian Nation, which owns a 700-acre reservation in York County; there are no gambling establishments on this land. However, there are a few riverboat casinos in SC.

Back in the day, the Catawba Nation had two bingo halls, but both turned out to be unprofitable and were closed down. But don’t despair – the tribe currently owns the Catawaba Two Kings Casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, so you don’t have to travel too far to get your gaming fix.

List of Top Gambling Venues in South Carolina

The Big M Casino Ship Little River4491 Mineola Ave, Little River, SC

Related reading: South Carolina online casinos

The Big M Casino ship, located in Little River, South Carolina, is a remarkable floating casino and entertainment venue. This state-of-the-art vessel is an impressive 186 feet long and spans over three decks, providing ample space for visitors to indulge in exciting gaming and entertainment.

The casino features a vast array of gaming options, including slot machines, table games, and live poker. The slot machines offer popular games such as Wheel of Fortune, Buffalo Gold, and Lightning Link, and the table games include favorites such as blackjack, roulette, craps, and three-card poker. The live poker room provides the perfect venue for a thrilling game with fellow players.

Apart from gaming, the ship offers multiple dining options, including a full-service buffet, a cafe, and a bar that serves refreshing beverages. The ship also features a large outdoor deck where visitors can take in the beautiful views and relax in the sun.

The Big M Casino ship’s staff is incredibly accommodating, providing excellent customer service, making visitors feel comfortable and at ease. The ship is a popular entertainment hub and is an excellent choice for visitors looking for an exciting and unforgettable experience.

South Carolina Gambling Revenues

While South Carolina has strict laws against gambling, the state still generates revenue from several forms of legal betting. In 2021, the South Carolina Education Lottery reported record-breaking sales of over $2.2 billion. Of this, $537 million was allocated to fund educational programs across the state.

Additionally, the state allows limited forms of charitable gambling, such as raffles and bingo games, which generated over $46 million in revenue in 2020. These funds are used to support various charitable organizations across the state, such as community centers and youth programs.

In South Carolina, the only other legal form of gambling is betting on horse racing. The state has two race tracks, one in Aiken and one in Camden, which generated over $10 million in revenue in 2020. A portion of these revenues is allocated to the South Carolina Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, which provides care and rehabilitation for retired racehorses.

Despite the limited forms of legal gambling, illegal gambling operations still exist in South Carolina. In 2020, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division seized over $2 million from illegal gambling operations, further highlighting the need for strict enforcement of the state’s gambling laws.

In summary, while gambling remains largely illegal in South Carolina, the state generates significant revenue from legal forms of gambling such as the South Carolina Education Lottery, charitable gambling, and horse racing. These revenues are allocated to fund educational programs, support charitable organizations, and provide care for retired racehorses.

Indian Gaming Tribes in South Carolina

South Carolina is home to one federally recognized Indian tribe, the Catawba Indian Nation, which has a history of over 400 years in the state. The Catawba Indian Nation is located in York County and has over 3,000 enrolled members, making it the only federally recognized tribe in South Carolina.

In recent years, the Catawba Indian Nation has been in a legal battle with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians over a proposed casino in North Carolina. The Catawba Indian Nation received federal approval to build a casino in Kings Mountain, North Carolina, but the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians filed a lawsuit to stop the project, claiming that it would negatively impact their own gaming operations in the region.

The legal dispute over the Kings Mountain casino project highlights the complex issues surrounding Indian gaming in the region, including tribal sovereignty, economic development, and competition among tribes.

Other Indian tribes, such as the Pee Dee Indian Tribe of South Carolina, are seeking federal recognition in order to pursue their own gaming operations. However, the process of obtaining federal recognition can be lengthy and difficult, and there are currently no other federally recognized Indian tribes in South Carolina.

List of Indian gaming tribes in South Carolina:

A History of Gambling in South Carolina

South Carolina has a long and complicated history with gambling. The state has some of the strictest laws against gambling in the country, and currently, there are no casinos or other forms of legal gambling establishments within its borders. However, it was not always this way.

In the early days of South Carolina, gambling was prevalent, with horse racing and lotteries being popular forms of entertainment. The state even authorized a lottery in 1745 to raise money for the construction of public buildings. However, the lottery was later shut down due to corruption and fraud, and gambling was outlawed in the state in 1802.

Despite the ban on gambling, illegal gambling operations continued to exist in South Carolina throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in urban areas such as Charleston and Columbia. In the 1950s and 1960s, law enforcement cracked down on illegal gambling rings, seizing millions of dollars in illegal proceeds.

In 1986, South Carolina allowed the creation of a state lottery, which has since become one of the most successful in the country. The South Carolina Education Lottery reported record-breaking sales of over $2.2 billion in 2021, with over $537 million allocated to fund educational programs across the state.

However, outside of the lottery, South Carolina has remained steadfast in its opposition to other forms of gambling, including casinos, sports betting, and online gaming. The state’s constitution prohibits any form of gambling except for the lottery and betting on horse racing, and any attempts to legalize other forms of gambling have been met with resistance.

One of the main reasons for South Carolina’s strict stance against gambling is the influence of conservative and religious groups in the state. These groups have long argued that gambling is morally corrupt and contributes to social problems such as addiction and crime.

Despite this opposition, some South Carolina lawmakers have proposed the legalization of casinos and sports betting in recent years, citing the potential economic benefits of these industries. However, these proposals have yet to gain traction in the state legislature.

Gambling Taxes in South Carolina

If you’re a resident of South Carolina who enjoys gambling, it’s important to understand the tax implications of your winnings. In general, any gambling winnings you receive are subject to state and federal taxes. In South Carolina, gambling winnings are taxed at a rate of 7%, regardless of the amount won.

For example, if you win $1,000 at a casino or from a lottery ticket, you would owe $70 in state taxes. These taxes are due at the time you file your annual state income tax return, which is due on April 15th of each year.

If you are a nonresident of South Carolina and win gambling income within the state, you will also be subject to the state’s 7% tax rate. However, you may be able to claim a credit for taxes paid to South Carolina on your home state’s tax return.

It’s important to keep accurate records of your gambling winnings and losses, as you will need to report these on your state income tax return. You can deduct gambling losses up to the amount of your winnings, but only if you itemize your deductions. In addition, if you win a large jackpot of $1,200 or more from a slot machine or bingo game, the casino will report this to the IRS, and you will receive a W-2G form.

If you have questions about how to report your gambling income on your state income tax return, it’s best to consult with a tax professional. They can help ensure that you are accurately reporting your income and taking advantage of any deductions or credits that may be available to you.

South Carolina Gambling FAQ

How much can you win at South Carolina casinos before being taxed?

There are no casinos in South Carolina, as casino gambling is illegal in the state. However, if you win income from other forms of gambling, such as the state lottery or horse racing, any winnings over $600 are subject to federal taxes.

How to ban yourself from casinos in South Carolina?

As there are no casinos in South Carolina, there is no formal self-exclusion program in place. However, if you have a gambling addiction, it’s important to seek help and support through organizations such as the National Council on Problem Gambling.

Who regulates gambling in South Carolina?

The South Carolina Department of Revenue is responsible for regulating and enforcing the state’s gambling laws. This includes overseeing the South Carolina Education Lottery and monitoring charitable gambling activities.

What is the minimum gambling age in South Carolina?

The legal gambling age in South Carolina is 18 years old for the lottery and betting on horse racing. However, as casino gambling is illegal in the state, there is no minimum age for this type of gambling.

Can I gamble online in South Carolina?

No, online gambling is not legal in South Carolina. The state’s strict gambling laws prohibit any form of online or internet gambling within its borders.

What types of gambling are legal in South Carolina?

The only forms of legal gambling in South Carolina are the state lottery and betting on horse racing at the state’s two racetracks. Limited forms of charitable gambling, such as raffles and bingo games, are also legal.

Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in South Carolina?

Yes, you can deduct gambling losses up to the amount of your winnings on your state income tax return. However, you must itemize your deductions in order to claim this deduction. It’s important to keep accurate records of your gambling activity to ensure that you are reporting your income and losses correctly.