State, Grand Strand leaders discuss legalizing casino-style gambling in S.C.

Updated: Jul. 22, 2019 at 8:25 PM EDT
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LITTLE RIVER, SC (WMBF) - A group of about 40 state and local leasers met in Little River Monday to discuss the possibility of legalizing casino-style gambling across the Palmetto State.

While some are skeptical of any potential legislation, others said it could be a safe bet.

“When people talk about casino gambling, they talk about Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach and Little River because it’s a tourism destination," said Scott Malyerck, executive director of Palmetto Forum for Gambling Studies.

The group, created in March 2019, hosted the hour-long forum with the goal of gauging realistic interest in potential legislation, what the framework of the bill would look like and where potential revenue would end up.

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“Our hope is that legislators will put this on a referendum and let the people of South Carolina vote on it,” said the group’s co-chair Jim Rex.

While interest seems high, organizers were quick to damper expectations and explained how long the road is to full-scale legalization.

“This could take a while, and it’s not going to happen overnight or next week but it’s going to happen,” Malyerck said.

Little River is the home to one of the area’s few gambling arenas. Participants there said they would welcome the idea of more wide-ranging access to gaming and gambling.

“South Carolina is missing out on a lot," said Pedro Truesdale, a South Carolina native who comes to Little River occasionally for the gambling access.

Palmetto Forum for Gambling Studies said it will continue hosting forums lime Monday’s throughout the state.

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