'Sweepstakes' gaming still with South Carolina (Update: 24 machines judged illegal in Horry)

It's not a game of chance if the outcome is predetermined, says game maker Hess.

Update 8/9/2012: Horry County Judge Gerald Whitley has ruled that 24 machines in Little River are illegal.

These machines were seized in a raid almost a year ago. We reported on that here. What took so long? The previously reported uncertainty of if these machines and operations are legal or not. The Sun News reports that any criminal charges were dismissed in the case along with other details. Read more here.

First Report: Almost a year ago, the State Law Enforcement Division promised a crackdown on a resurgence of video gambling in South Carolina. 

Today there are an estimated 1,000 of the machines operating in locations that aren't hidden and are even advertised with big banners reading "Sweepstakes".

As we've written before, the games represent a splitting of the legal hairs surrounding the legal definition of gambling and as such have seen various ruling on the local levels as to whether or not the games are legal.

The Post and Courier offers an update report, pointing out "sweepstakes" machines continue to thrive in the state during this legal netherworld.

Most law enforcement appears to be awaiting on the state courts to decide more firmly on whether or not the machines are legal, leaving towns to grapple with the issues, with municipalities imposing temporary bans and other levying heavy fees on the machines. 

In short, this issue looks like it will still be with us until legislation is passed with an updated definition of "gambling", or a more prominent state court fields a case — assuming that court doesn't decide "sweepstakes" are perfectly within the law. 


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