Raffles could become legal in SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Nonprofits could legally hold raffles under legislation advancing in the South Carolina Senate.

A Senate Judiciary panel voted Wednesday to allow schools, churches and other nonprofits to hold a limited number of raffles yearly. That is, if voters approve changing the state constitution to allow it. The panel approved a separate measure that puts that question on 2014 ballots.

The only raffle currently legal in South Carolina is the state lottery.

Still, raffles are held regularly across the state anyway. Enforcement of the ban is selective, depending largely on whether someone complains.

Previous efforts to make raffles legal have failed as gambling opponents feared the unintended consequences of any change to gambling laws.

But those concerns seem to be allayed. The idea's previous opponents say they support this latest version.