A bill introduced into the South Carolina legislature that would have legalized home poker games throughout the state was not voted on and was sent back to the Judiciary Committee without debate. This will prevent the bill was being voted upon this year, as it now cannot be voted upon until 2009. The law was intended to remedy an outdated law that’s been part of the South Carolina code since 1802, a law that prohibits any games that use cards or dice from being played within private homes. This law technically makes it illegal to even play games like Monopoly. No one has ever been arrested in for playing Monopoly in South Carolina, but the law has been used by state officials to conduct raids on poker games held in private homes.
The bill advocating the legalization of home poker games was introduced in January of 2007 by Representative Wallace Scarborough. The bill stayed in the Judiciary Committee for more than a year before escaping from committee only to be promptly sent back to the committee without debate. Scarborough was prompted to introduce his bill after seeing several raids on poker games in private homes, including one where masked agents entered a house with their guns drawn.
With the bill being sent back to committee, the hopes of South Carolina poker players will have to wait until 2009, when the bill can make its reappearance.