What’s next for the South Carolina sports betting push? Things are completely unknown, as the state hasn’t been able to make a ton of advancements with its efforts. The legislation has been slow in trying to take the next steps. However, the same can’t be said for one of South Carolina’s bordering states in North Carolina. The state just had legal wagers introduced this week and now South Carolina is facing sports betting pressure with North Carolina launching.
On Monday, in-person wagers got started and the excitement has been through the roof. We still don’t have the official numbers from Day 1, but the expectation is that things are going to be tremendous for North Carolina during its first full month. As great as that is for NC, plenty of people in South Carolina are not happy that the local government hasn’t been able to get anything done. There’s hope for change down the road, but nothing is moving forward right now.
North Carolina went through a long process to get sports betting done, which made Jan. 8 so historic for them. While online betting has also passed, legal sportsbooks are still waiting on approval for licenses. The hope, per a report, is that everything will be finalized there by the time March Madness arrives. March Madness betting will be huge for North Carolina, but that will also be big for people in South Carolina.
It goes without saying, but people all over South Carolina are expected to travel to North Carolina now that sports betting is legal and the tourism numbers will only grow once online wagers are set in stone too. From an economic standpoint, this is brutal for South Carolina, as people will be leaving the state and spending money on travel/vacations in North Carolina instead. The only way for this to change would be for legal betting in SC to get done, but no one knows if that will happen soon.
Illegal activity in South Carolina is only going to keep climbing
Unfortunately for lawmakers in the state, illegal activity in South Carolina is only going to keep climbing now that North Carolina is in business. One of the major issues for South Carolina in recent history has been people setting up proxy accounts and placing online wagers from their own homes in SC. There are ways to use off-shore accounts and illegal bookies, but now that North Carolina has opened betting, the expectation is that the numbers will grow.
When it comes to illegal activity, there’s no question that NFL betting and NCAAF betting are going to be a consistent issue. This past season, South Carolina saw plenty of illegal activity on the college football showdowns. The National Championship Game between Michigan and Washington took place on Monday night and you better believe that countless people in South Carolina had money on that contest.
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) January 9, 2024
As for the NFL action, the opening weekend of the playoffs is coming in a few days and people all over the globe can’t wait to see who moves on to the Divisional Round. While South Carolina doesn’t have a pro team, people still love the NFL and they’ll be finding ways to get in on the action during the Wild Card Round. While a lot of folks will be traveling to North Carolina for legal wagers, plenty of others will fire up illegal bets on the upcoming games.
Entering the start of the postseason, the 49ers and Ravens hold the best Super Bowl betting odds to win the title. Teams like the Chiefs, Cowboys, Bills, Eagles and more are hoping to pull off some upsets, but it feels like a showdown between San Francisco and Baltimore for the Lombardi Trophy could be coming next month. Unfortunately, we have a strong feeling illegal wagers in SC will reach new heights leading up to the Super Bowl.
South Carolina must find a way to get betting done in 2025
It goes without saying, but South Carolina must find a way to get betting done in 2025. There is no chance that things will get figured out this year, which is why people have shifted their focus to next year. However, there are still a lot of things that need to get done in order for legalization to be taken seriously.
For the most part, there seems to be a lot of support for legal betting, but there are also plenty of people who are against it. In the government, a lot of Republicans have stated that they don’t want to see legal sports betting get done for the state, which is hard to believe.
There’s a lot of revenue potential for South Carolina sports betting. As we’ve seen across the United States, betting has proven to be a major tool for local governments. The same can be said for South Carolina if a change is made, but the hesitance by people in office sure is concerning. Not getting betting done by 2025 would be a major step back for the state, no doubt about that.
Sports betting bills by state this year:
📈Close: Kentucky, Missouri, Minnesota, Vermont
📉Dwindling: Texas, Oklahoma
❓TBD: North Carolina, South Carolina
❌Nope: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi (all have study bills), Hawaii
— Sam McQuillan (@sam_mcquill) March 29, 2023