Berkeley County cracking down on

Georgetown's Wooden Boat Show will go on (Image 1)
Georgetown's Wooden Boat Show will go on (Image 1)

Businesses
and organizations in Berkeley
County with sweepstakes-type
gaming machines are being placed on notice that any and all gambling and gaming
machines are illegal and must be removed immediately, according to Berkeley
County Sheriff H. Wayne DeWitt.

“It is a
crime to gamble or possess gaming machines in South Carolina,” Sheriff DeWitt said.  “I'm giving a two week notice as of today to
anyone in Berkeley County who has these machines, whether stand-alone machines
or networked systems, to remove them from your premises or face the risk of
criminal and civil prosecution.”

Sheriff
DeWitt said his office will coordinate efforts with state authorities.

“We will
be working closely with the State Law Enforcement Division and the South
Carolina Attorney General's office to locate these machines, seize them, seek
their destruction, and to charge anyone possessing or operating these gaming
machines,” he said.  “There are numerous
rulings in support of the law which are clear.”

Sheriff
DeWitt said Section 12-21-2710 of the S.C. Code of Laws outlines the types of
machines and devices prohibited by law.

“The law
is clear and there are no loopholes,” he said. 
“There have been over 1,200 of these machines seized around the
state.  If we find any in Berkeley County, they will be taken and those
numbers will be added to the statewide total.”

Anyone
with information about these types of machines in Berkeley County
are encouraged to contact the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office at (843)
719-4412 or (843) 719-4424.

Below is an excerpt from the current South Carolina law:

SECTION 12-21-2710   Types of
machines and devices prohibited by law; penalties.

It is unlawful for any person to keep on his
premises or operate or permit to be kept on his premises or operated within the
State any vending or slot machine, or any video game machine with a free play
feature operated by a slot in which is deposited a coin or thing of value for
the play of poker, blackjack, keno, lotto, bingo, or craps, or any machines
licensed pursuant to Section 12-21-2720 and used for gambling or any punch
board, pull board, or other device pertaining to games of chance of whatever
name or kind, including those machines, boards or other devices that display
different pictures, words, or symbols, at different plays or different numbers,
whether in words or figures or, which deposit tokens or coins at regular
intervals or in varying numbers to the player or in the machine, but the
provisions of this section do not extend to coin-operated nonpayout pin tables,
in-line pin games, or to automatic weighing, measuring, musical, and vending
machines which are constructed as to give a certain uniform and fair return in
value for each coin deposited and in which there is no element of chance.

Any person violating the provisions of this
section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more
than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for a period of not more than one year,
or both.

 

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