Bill would close loophole in state's video poker law - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Bill would close loophole in state's video poker law

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State lawmakers now taking on the fight to clear up a loophole in illegal video gaming. Some business owners say they're within legal right to operate "sweepstakes" machines, but state police say the games are just an adaptation of illegal video poker.

Since March, SLED has seized more than 1,000 of thee machines, but despite that, a few magistrates have ruled the sweepstakes machines are perfectly legal.

The Senate is working on a bill that would clarify the state's video poker ban by specifically stating sweepstakes machines are illegal.

Proponents say since players are actually purchasing phone minutes, their games are no different than a Monopoly game you'd play at McDonalds.

Attorney General Alan Wilson and SLED experts testified that the sweepstakes games are simply the old video poker machine dressed up as a phone minute vending machine.

Many in the legislature agree.

The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill out to the floor for debate. If passed, this wouldn't change the video poker law at all, but it would clarify it to leave no doubt that the phone time sweepstakes are illegal.

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