Bills to allow horse racing bets introduced in S Carolina

March 12, 2022 GMT

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A group of lawmakers considering how to support the horse industry in South Carolina is suggesting the state should allow legalized betting on horse races.

Bills filed in the House and Senate would limit betting to only horse races through online apps where betters would have to already have money deposited into their accounts.

Rep. Russel Ott introduced the proposal at a news conference, emphasizing it would be regulated by the state and the proceeds would go back to helping the horse industry.

“We are not talking about opening casinos. We’re not talking about different forms of brick and mortar or bookies or even walking up to a teller at a horse race and placing a bet,” the Democrat from St. Matthews said.

A commission would oversee up to three companies to run the app, giving back 10% of their profits to the state, Ott said.

The money made on the app could create horse therapy programs for veterans, public equestrian trails and horse care programs for inmates or troubled teens, supporters said.

Any gambling proposal likely has a tough road in South Carolina, which banned video gambling in 2000 after allowing it for several years and has made no efforts to join other states in legalizing other sports gambling.