Amid concerns of reviving the now-dead video poker industry, a Senate panel Tuesday approved a bill allowing dice and card games, including poker, in S.C. homes.
Critics say the move — which stems from a police raid on poker party at a Mount Pleasant home — risks the chance the video poker and gambling industry once again could find a way to legalize games of chance that the state outlawed in 2000.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 15-6 Tuesday to send the bill to the full Senate. The measure would replace the state’s 1802 antigambling laws. Read literally, those laws ban any games with dice or cards.
The bill, S. 254, is intended to allow poker and other games of chance in private homes. It sets no limit on how much could be gambled, though the homeowner is forbidden from taking a share of the winnings, and the use of electronic machines is banned.
Supporters, including Senate President Pro Tempore Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, say the bill would allow adults to make their own decisions regarding card games and does not burden law enforcement with “policing what games they play at the kitchen table.”