Legalize sports gambling in South Carolina? Charleston lawmaker says 'Yes'

This image shows a fictional sports betting website. South Carolina State Rep. Wendell Gilliard supports legalizing sports in the Palmetto State. Five states have done so since Congress overturned a ban on the practice in 2018. (Getty Images)

It's right up their alley.

"Very special! We can’t wait for Monday to come to come do this," said 68-year-old Bertha Yaedon, who bowls every Monday at Swamp Fox Lanes in Moncks Corner.

"I enjoy every minute of it," her friend and fellow bowler Ethel Jackson said.

They're two of dozens who descend on the bowling alley every morning, but they say the thought of lawmakers allowing sports betting in South Carolina might ruin the fun.

"When you’re betting, someone wins and the other person is going to get angry," Jackson said.

Opinions on the issue vary from one lane to the next.

"I think it would be a good thing," said Helen Dingle. "In South Carolina, we have some bad roads."

Roads that State Representative Wendell Gilliard believes could be helped with revenue from sports betting.

"We’re talking about a potential of a four billion dollar tourist industry," Gilliard said. "We just need more bipartisan support."

Congress achieved that support when they overturned a federal ban on sports betting last May.

"It will create hundreds of thousands of jobs throughout South Carolina," Gilliard added. He also believes sports betting could keep some jobs here at home.

"When you look at teacher salary, teacher pension, we need to do what is right," Gilliard said. "We have a number one teacher problem across South Carolina. We have the opportunity to put a stop to it, I say let’s do it."

Five states, including Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, and New Mexico have legalized sports betting since May. Many others are considering the measure.

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