When most people talk about gambling, either Atlantic City or Las Vegas are usually the first
names that come into conversation. However, with more people than ever enjoying casino gaming
in a safe and secure environment, many other locations across the country are taking advantage of
the increased demand for gaming and relaxed state gaming laws. The Palmetto State is certainly a
hidden gem on the US gambling scene, with four casinos offering 775 slot and gaming machines
and 58 table games including poker, blackjack, roulette, even though all forms of gambling aside
from the lottery are totally banned in South Carolina. So how on earth do South Carolina residents
and visitors enjoy their favourite games?
It seems counter-intuitive that in a climate where gambling laws are becoming more relaxed and
states are making lots of money from gambling levies and permits across the country that South
Carolina is still staunchly anti-gaming. Tribal groups are denied gaming permits on their lands and
even a measly game of poker at home is strictly forbidden, with police enforced crackdowns still
taking place. Even if gamers want to exercise their freedom to gamble online, they will have to
travel to New Jersey as it is still the only place in the US where online gambling is legal. The strict policy is quite controversial since the speed of gambling market growth defines a significant evolution of online casinos worldwide. It seems a
shame that residents and visitors to South Carolina are missing out on fantastic online gaming
sites like 888casino, the site features dealers broadcasting from casinos around the world straight
to smartphones and other devices, they offer a huge range of fabulous online casino games
including roulette, virtual slot machines, live casino and the long-time favourite blackjack.
There is however a loophole, thanks to part genius, part circumvention of the strictest gambling
laws in the country after the state of Utah, crafty casino operators have taken advantage of US
maritime law and by offering offshore gambling to anyone over the age of 21. Fully stocked sea-
going vessels journey 3 miles off the coast and into international waters, where all forms of
gambling are completely outside of both state and federal jurisdiction.
The biggest operator is the Big M Casino Cruise sailing out of Charleston, with two huge cruise
ships packed with every casino game imaginable. Each ship offers several decks of slot machines,
gaming tables and bars, dance-floors, restaurants and live music stages to ensure non-stop
entertainment on the twice-daily 5 hours cruises. With a smoking and non-smoking ship to choose
from, the entry fee is only $30 or $48 including buffet. Such cruises allow gambling fans who are used to win cash and prizes online to try out their favorite games in real life and feel the thrilling atmosphere of competition. Games on board include Blackjack, Craps,
Roulette, Let it Ride, Texas Hold ‘Em poker and 3 card poker.
Carnival Cruise ships are the other option for gamblers, but these gigantic ocean faring cruise
ships connect Charleston with Nassau in the Bahamas over a five day round trip. These cruise
ships are well stocked when it comes to slot and table games, but for the casual gamer who wants
to enjoy a few hours of gaming at the weekend, the hefty price tag and time commitment may just
be too much.
It doesn’t seem that the law in South Carolina is changing anytime soon, so gamers will have to
make do with floating casinos until local government sees the light with regulated, taxed gambling.
Until then, it’s a flight to Vegas or a 10 hour drive to Atlantic City…
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