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Columbia, SC – January 15, 2013 – Internet “sweepstakes machines” will be banned under a new law passed on second reading by the state Senate today.

The bill, S.3, sponsored by Senator Wes Hayes, Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin and others, clarifies what the gambling industry claims is a loophole in the current law that allows them to operate. While law enforcement says that the machines are likely illegal under current law, this change will provide a more ironclad case against the gambling operators, and will essentially ban the machines.

“This bill removes the ambiguity that some believe exists in the video poker ban from the late 1990s,” Martin stated. “It will help clear up any confusion about the public policy so that law enforcement can do its job.”

Senator Hayes said the sooner we could rid our state of this new form of gambling, the better:

“I’m very pleased we have been able to move this bill so quickly,” Hayes said. “If we didn’t address this issue, the gambling operators of these sweepstakes machines would cause great harm to families in our state. I am hopeful the House will move quickly on it as well.”

The bill will be up for third reading tomorrow.


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