Joe Cunningham Proposes Legalizing Sports Betting in South Carolina
Former Congressman and Democratic candidate for Governor, Joe Cunningham, announced his support for legalizing sports betting in South Carolina on Thursday. His proposal would allow South Carolinians to bet on sports through mobile apps and at brick and mortar locations throughout the state.
30 states and Washington, D.C currently feature live, legal sports betting markets, with three additional legal markets awaiting launch. According to the American Gaming Association, over 31 million Americans will make a wager on the Super Bowl on Sunday with over $7 billion in bets.
“It is time to give South Carolinians the same freedom people in 30 other states enjoy and finally legalize sports betting,” said Cunningham. “This is about freedom and generating new revenue for our state to tackle our biggest challenges. All of our neighboring states have either legalized sports betting or they are taking steps to do so, and South Carolina once again finds itself at an economic disadvantage. I’m tired of letting North Carolina and Georgia reap the benefits of new industries because South Carolina politicians won’t get out of our way. Legalizing sports betting would allow our state to fix real problems and create good-paying jobs without raising a single cent in taxes.”
Cunningham estimates that South Carolina could generate at least $40 million dollars each year in new tax revenue by legalizing sports betting.
“The fact is sports betting is already happening in South Carolina; but it’s underground, unregulated, and brings in zero tax revenue for our state. So we have two options: we can let the bookies run the entire industry and keep it underground with no tax revenue for our state, or we can bring it above board, regulate it, tax it, and fix problems with the money. This is a no-brainer.”
Cunningham says by opposing sports betting, Governor McMaster is making South Carolina less business-friendly and puts our state at a competitive disadvantage over our neighboring states.
“Governor McMaster calls himself a free-market conservative, but what’s free-market about big government telling you that you can’t bet $20 on the Super Bowl on your phone? What’s free-market about letting North Carolina and Tennessee capture millions of dollars in tax revenue from South Carolina residents? It’s time for him to get on board or get out of the way.”