Yes, there is live horse racing in South Carolina. No, you can’t wager on the races. Although South Carolinians can attend live horse racing meets held in the state, it’s illegal under state law to offer pari-mutuel wagering on these races.
That situation, though, could be on the road toward change. In April of 2021, the Equine Industry Support Measures Study Committee was formed following passage of a bill in the state government. The committee, which is composed of two state Senators, two state House members, two members of the horse racing industry and a representative from the South Carolina Agriculture Department is tasked with coming up with methods to grow and revitalize the horse racing industry within the state. However one of the measures they are considering is to permit wagering on the races.
Horse Racing History
Steeplechase racing is big in South Carolina. Since 1932, each spring the Carolina Cup is the big spring horse racing event. The Carolina Cup draws thousands of spectators from all around the state and region. Decked out in their Easter finest, they watch a half-dozen steeplechase races, including the 2 1/8-mile Carolina Cup.
The Colonial Cup, held in Camden, draws 10,000 fans and is the highlight of the fall racing season. There’s also steeplechase racing held in Aiken and Charleston.
To legalize pari-mutuel wagering in the state won’t be a simple or easy task. A bill must be presented in front of the South Carolina legislature. It would require the approval of a two-thirds majority of both the House and Senate and the signature of the Governor to move forward.
Next, a referendum would be put to the people of South Carolina giving the okay to change the South Carolina constitution in order to make pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing legal.
Simulcast wagering and online wagering on horse racing (and all sports for that matter) are also prohibited in South Carolina.
South Carolina Online Horse Betting FAQs
Betting in-person and online is prohibited across South Carolina.
There is no gambling age in The Palmetto State. South Carolina doesn’t offer any form of sports betting online or offline.
There are several training tracks in the state with no wagering allowed.