Leaders talk about what it would take to bring casinos to the Gr - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Leaders talk about what it would take to bring casinos to the Grand Strand

Local leaders discuss the possibility of bringing casinos to the Grand Strand. (Source: Lisa Gresci) Local leaders discuss the possibility of bringing casinos to the Grand Strand. (Source: Lisa Gresci)
Slot machine from the Big M Casino boat. (Source: Lisa Gresci) Slot machine from the Big M Casino boat. (Source: Lisa Gresci)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – For many years now, there has been talk of someday bringing casinos to the Grand Strand.

Now, that idea is coming back up in conversation among local leaders.

Horry County Council Chairman Mark Lazarus said that while there have been talks about casinos lately, a number of things would need to be worked out in order to turn the idea into a reality.

“You know, the biggest thing is, if you can do it through the treaties of the past - become something with the Indian reservation - that's one way to do it," Lazarus said. "It has its limitations by doing it that way. The other is, you'd actually have to change the state's constitution to allow gambling in the state of South Carolina.”

While that wouldn't necessarily be the easiest process to go through, Lazarus didn't hesitate to explain the benefits of bringing casinos to the Grand Strand.

“You know the more people you can bring here, the more seats it fills in restaurants, the more hotels and condos it fills," he said. "It would be a great economy. I think it would help the golf business for us tremendously too.”

That being said, Lazarus doesn't believe it should be a free-for-all.

“(It should be) heavily regulated, I think it should be heavily taxed," he said. "I don't think we should let it open up like the video poker parlors of the past that were just everywhere. I think there could be one or two of them off of 31 or 22.”

In other words, Lazarus wouldn't want to see a casino pop up in the center of Myrtle Beach or North Myrtle Beach, and he's talking just a casino.

He added this would be much different than the Big M casino boats, which have to travel more than three miles into the ocean on sometimes not-so-nice waters before the games can begin.

Even though this is just an idea right now, Lazarus isn’t taking it out of the realm of possibility.

“Yeah you know, it starts from an idea and thoughts and conversation around the table, and sometimes it gets to become a bigger thing,” he said.

If the idea ever become something bigger, Lazarus believes it could help not only the local area, but the entire state by funding things like public schools, road repairs and infrastructure.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Six evacuation shelters open in Horry County ahead of potential flooding

    Six evacuation shelters open in Horry County ahead of potential flooding

    Thursday, September 20 2018 1:07 PM EDT2018-09-20 17:07:20 GMT
    Flooding begins to impact parts of downtown Conway. (Source: WMBF News)Flooding begins to impact parts of downtown Conway. (Source: WMBF News)

    The American Red Cross has opened six evacuation shelters in preparation for potential flooding and necessary evacuations in Horry County.

    More >>

    The American Red Cross has opened six evacuation shelters in preparation for potential flooding and necessary evacuations in Horry County.

    More >>
  • Teen killed in Hartsville shooting

    Teen killed in Hartsville shooting

    Thursday, September 20 2018 12:59 PM EDT2018-09-20 16:59:45 GMT
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)
    (Source: Raycom Media)(Source: Raycom Media)

    A teenager was shot and killed Wednesday night on Bell Avenue in Hartsville, according to Darlington County Coroner JT Hardee.

    More >>

    A teenager was shot and killed Wednesday night on Bell Avenue in Hartsville, according to Darlington County Coroner JT Hardee.

    More >>
  • School closings, delays and more following Florence

    School closings, delays and more following Florence

    Thursday, September 20 2018 12:44 PM EDT2018-09-20 16:44:45 GMT
    Source: WMBF NewsSource: WMBF News

    Several schools in our area will be canceled or delayed Monday as the remnants of Hurricane Florence continues to impact our area.

    More >>

    Several schools in our area will be canceled or delayed Monday as the remnants of Hurricane Florence continues to impact our area.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly