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South Carolina Senator Fears that Raffles will Lead to Gambling Problems

27 January 2011 by admin

In the state of South Carolina there is a Senator by the name of David Thomas. This man is very ardent in his belief that if the South Carolina were to legalize raffles that it would lead to full-on Las Vegas style gambling and gambling problems.

Yes, I said raffles. As in the things you buy little tickets for which give you a chance to win a prize of some sort; and the proceeds of the sale of the tickets goes to a charity organization. Yes, that kind of raffle. And Thomas believes that if South Carolina residents are allowed to have such raffles that state residents will begin to gamble wantonly.

There are a couple of bills in the State Senate that will allow residents to vote on legalizing raffles. Currently South Carolina only allows a state lottery and bingo. Yes, there are some organizations that offer raffles as a means of fund raising for charity organizations, but they do not know that raffles are illegal in the state. The bills that are in the State Senate will, if approved and signed into law, make raffles legal, giving charity organizations another, legal, means of raising money.

Now if you ask Thomas he will tell you that raffles will lead to video poker machines and roulette tables and slot machines and God knows what else: “We will see a scenario where people will be able to go into very large buildings and see an imitation of Las Vegas. The loopholes are not just loopholes. They are very intentional open doors to something other than just raffles.

“Raffles are a face to Las Vegas style gambling,” Thomas said.

Yes, because a gift basket to a local community owned business is the same thing as winning a progressive jackpot.

Senator Raymond Cleary who is the driving force behind the bill to legalize raffles, and who is a Republican I might add, has said in regards to other states allowing raffles and that such allowing of raffles has not “led to video poker. It has not led to organized gambling, it has not led to organized crime.”

It seems that Thomas’ opinions on the subject of raffles runs akin to the conservative Republican base that is steadfastly hanging on to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA)—any form of gambling, including raffles for a gift basket from a mom and pop bakery, will lead to a life of vice and we all must be saved from ourselves. Debate on the bills is set to continue this week so we shall see whether Thomas succeeds in saving South Carolina from itself or whether Cleary will get raffles legalized.

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