Pro-Gambling Candidate Could Emerge In 2014

The legalization of gambling in South Carolina – particularly in the state’s tourism-heavy coastal regions – is a no-brainer. Well … to everyone except the far religious right (centered in the state’s “Republican” Upstate) and politicians of both parties who continue to kowtow to this withering constituency. Permitting casinos on…

The legalization of gambling in South Carolina – particularly in the state’s tourism-heavy coastal regions – is a no-brainer. Well … to everyone except the far religious right (centered in the state’s “Republican” Upstate) and politicians of both parties who continue to kowtow to this withering constituency.

Permitting casinos on the coast would be a boon to the state’s economy – unleashing a flood of jobs and capital investment. Such a move would also provide an opportunity (assuming our greedy leaders could restrain their appetite for government growth) to provide long-overdue income tax relief to individuals and small businesses (or relief to tourists from oppressively high sales tax rates along the coast).

Again, it’s a no-brainer for those who believe in individual liberty and free markets – and who want to see the Palmetto State begin to develop competitive advantages as opposed to continuing to fall further behind the rest of the nation.

Anyway, upset with the lack of support the gambling issue is receiving from both the GOP and Democratic establishments – and the outright hostility S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has shown to casinos – supporters of legalization are reportedly contemplating another approach.

Their idea? A credible, well-funded third party 2014 gubernatorial bid – one advancing a specific statewide economic plan built around the legalization of coastal casinos (and possibly other forms of gambling).

“We have our candidate,” one source familiar with the effort tells FITS. “Now it is about getting the policy right.”

Pro-gambling candidates in South Carolina are nothing new. In fact one ran – and lost (badly) – in the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary. However public support for legalization is on the rise – especially if the issue is limited to coastal casinos.

Does a third party pro-gambling candidate have a prayer?

Of course not. Let’s assume for the moment the candidate is an attractive, eloquent advocate running on a sensible center or center-right economic plan – and has $1 million to spend on his or her effort. Even under such optimal circumstances, it’s hard to imagine a campaign like that garnering more than 5-7 percent of the statewide vote.

Also, it’s unclear whether that 5-7 percent would come out of the hide of Haley or S.C. Senator Vincent Sheheen – the presumed Democratic gubernatorial nominee.

That’s not the point, though.

“This is about moving a different set of numbers – and (identifying) a different set of voters,” our pro-gambling source said.

So … who is the candidate?

Our sources were tight-lipped, saying only it was a “credible figure” in the coastal community who has “extensive political experience.”

Hmmmm … we’ll be sure to keep our readers in the loop as we learn more about this novel new candidacy.

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sweepin October 7, 2013 at 9:45 am

Anyone considering a Gubernatorial run in SC on a “pro gambling” platform is not a “credible” candidate despite your and their representations.

Smirks October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

I have to agree. People wanted a lottery, but I doubt a pro-gambling candidate could pull a majority of votes in this state. Such a position does not make for a viable candidate in this state.

I honestly think that the state should just set up the laws that come with legalized gambling and let local governments welcome/ban them. Myrtle Beach doesn’t want casinos? Fine, don’t have them. Some reservation wants one? Let them collect the revenue, then. In fact, I’m sure the ones who welcome them will love the lack of competition.

TyroneLoves2Gamble October 7, 2013 at 10:51 am

Myrtle Beach is the perfect venue for this. With all the newcomers in SC over the past decade, and their new money, the decline of the Baptist bloc and of religion generally, and a pro-business, pro-money environment, we can do this. Whoever thought we would get an “Education Lottery” over a decade ago but we had a man become Governor because of it. People in SC secretly love sin,and drinking, and sex, and gambling, all the things the churches hate. You cannot legislate morality. I have lived here my whole life and people like me could write books about the hypocrisy. I am saying it stands a good chance despite the odds. You will make money from the rich, the poor, and everyone in between. And the tourists.

TontoBubbaGoldstein October 7, 2013 at 9:52 am

Pro gambling interests.
Extensive political experience.
“Credible figure” in the coastal community.

If it weren’t for the word “credible”, TBG would say Robert Ford.

Smirks October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

Introducing the Viva Viagra Casino!

Ed October 7, 2013 at 9:54 am

I have only been advocating this for about 30 years. It is time that SC politicians put the economic welfare of the state above their own “moral” beliefs, which quite frankly, they are all rather hypocritical about in the first place

Eve October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

Of course with this state, it just means the politicians would simply be more corrupt than they already are.

MaceSucks October 7, 2013 at 9:55 am

Whoever takes this bait will be ending his/her political career.

Wes's secret gay admirer October 7, 2013 at 9:58 am

A smart candidate goes “pro liberty” and minimizes all the “pro gambling” talk in a bible belt state.

Thomas October 7, 2013 at 10:03 am

If Mayor Steve wins in 2014…he will run on casino gambling with a black Lt Gov Sellars and win in 2018. Then we will see SC go to a blue state moving progressive.

Curious October 7, 2013 at 10:18 am

“This is about moving a different set of numbers – and (identifying) a different set of voters,” our pro-gambling source said.

For what, exactly? And how does the candidate benefit?

The Colonel October 7, 2013 at 10:37 am

Dream on.

TyroneLoves2Gamble October 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

I agree. You should be “free” to gamble. We do it now in the “Education Lottery.” Imagine the good things it will pay for.

jimlewisowb October 7, 2013 at 10:50 am

My money is on Jakie Knotts

Word down at the Git’nGo is that JK just got back from a clinic out in Nebraska

His Testicular Transplant didn’t do the bull much good but it was extremely successful for him.

Haven’t seen him up close but a friend saw him over on Knox Abbot and said it looked like he had more balls than crotch. Kinda looked like the Aflac Duck walking out of Lizard’s Thicket

Philip Branton October 7, 2013 at 12:01 pm

LOL…….who wrote this stinkin’ article…??

The “gambling” candidate would win hands down if media outlets “Like this website” would actually educate voters on how the gambling proceeds would be spent before the VOTE was ever taken…?!!!

Of course no candidate would ever dream of educating “voters” before a vote..!!

The media would not print it in detail to be studied in church, schools, BOEING, and developer stock manager pits…!!

Billy K Mulligan October 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Sounds like Andre Bauer…..he’s for whatever you’re for. If running against Welfare Queens will work, he’ll do it. If it’s gambling, he’ll do it. Just so long as he’s in the game.

coolhandluke October 7, 2013 at 12:47 pm

It does not make a shit whether it’s PRO-gambling, sex, cock or dog fighting or whatever. Nobody, repeat nobody, will defeat Nikki Haley. And, if someone did defeat her, do you Slick Willie believe he or she will have the power in the Governor’s position to change this state to pro-gambling? If so, you are uneducated about the organizational nuances of South Carolina’s three branches of government. The only legal gambling in this state is the government run “State Education Lottery.”

Straight-line Cline October 7, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Sorry FITS but you need to be consistent. Mixing dumb broke and hopeless with a strip of casinos fixes NOTHING!. Love to gamble. Sure it should be legalized. But come on?
Myrtle Beach is a cesspool (why you take your family there is beyond this readers vivid imagination) so just check out Atlantic City and Las Vegas and then report back that this is really the direction that you would like for your state, your children’s birth state to go.

EJB October 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm

Mr. Folks, I have to go against you on this one. Most of the people that advocate for legalized gambling haven’t lived near or seen the ugly underbelly of gambling. If you’re making money off of it or a politician working an angle on it or getting some direct benefit from it yes it looks quite nice. But if you are a carpenter or a glazier living anywhere near the casino areas you HATE it. You hate what you see it doing to your neighborhoods, your friends and maybe your relatives. I’ve seen the surrounding neighborhoods of the Atlantic City casinos and you couldn’t pay me to live there even if you let me have automatic weapons and claymore mines. I’ve talked with people that have seen Vegas and its similar there. Not that there aren’t nice neighborhoods, there are. Very nice neighborhoods, gated communities, armed guards, the works, but, how many carpenters, glaziers or waitresses do you think live in those places?

But one need not go to Atlantic City or Vegas, just remember back to when video poker was all the rage here. I remember seeing the run down affects of the video poker halls and the areas around them and the crime from those establishments. I seem to recall The State running an article on the people that worked in those places having to be armed or have a weapon handy. I remember driving down Bush River Road and past the several video poker halls and there was no way I would stop near those places. There were some nice places, some decent bowling alleys and bars had a few video poker machines but mostly I remember the run down areas and the rot around the majority of the video poker places. I vote NO to gambling. Besides they will want tax dollar incentives to build their damn casinos and that market is starting to get saturated. The casinos that go belly up may not be the first or last ones to go up but there will be casinos going out of business and those using tax dollars will have less incentive to do it right.

nitrat October 7, 2013 at 3:24 pm

The defunct outlet mall in Santee is across a fence from I-95 and about 10 miles from I-26, in almost the exact middle of the state from every direction. It is within spitting distance of the big water of Lake Marion.

In other words, it is the ideal location, not just for a bingo parlor, but for an upscale casino that has customers driving 100 +/- miles across SC from any state border to arrive there, pumping money into almost every county in the state as they drive.

What more could the Catawbas ask for? What more could South Carolina ask for?

A casino, even a bingo parlor, would provide jobs that are desperately needed in some of the most economically depressed counties in the state – the I-95 Corridor. Workers would be drawn from a 100+ mile radius, 50+ miles on either side of Santee, from near the Georgia border to close to Florence; from Columbia almost to Summerville. Is South Carolina serious about jobs for people in rural counties or not?
The coast is congested and high risk from hurricanes. The exact middle of the state, almost the exact intersection of I-26 and I-95 is an infinitely better location.

nitrat October 7, 2013 at 3:50 pm

Off topic :
“Taxpayers will soon spend $1 billion a year for vouchers with little evidence of academic gains.”

Thomas October 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Indiana’s Supreme Court recently ruled to uphold their voucher law. Ohio did too. Indiana uses a “head count” to fund schools at around 5000.00 per pupil. Their “Choice Scholarship Program” allows PARENTS to re-direct tax dollars towards private or religious competing schools for educating their children. Good program to have in SC.

2x3x5x October 7, 2013 at 7:19 pm

I think we should have casinos here. But only if there are classy. Like the Venetian or the Wynn. You know it is successful if there are lots of asians. I suspect though that if try it in Myrtle Beach, Santee, etc., we’ll end up with the “Freemont Street Experience.” Bikers, dirty people, no asians, poor people, signs up that say no gang colors, ugly cocktail waitresses, etc. It would be terrible, and really do nothing to help the people in that part of hte state.

Manray October 8, 2013 at 4:59 pm

Yeah, Myrtle Beach and “classy” in the same paragraph!

Mike at the Beach October 7, 2013 at 11:20 pm

Gotta be Andre. There are still dozens of persons in SC who refer to him as “coastal” and “credible.”

You know me October 8, 2013 at 10:35 am

Darla Moore?


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