COLUMBIA, S.C. (WFXG) - South Carolina legislators have introduced a bill that would allow online and retail sports betting to operate in the state. The bipartisan bill, sponsored by Rep. William Herbkersman (R) and Rep. Todd Rutherford (D), outlines what kinds of sports can be bet on and which entities will be able to apply for betting licenses.

FOX54 spoke with Associate Professor of Marketing and Hospitality at Augusta University, Marsha Loda about the potential boons and pitfalls with allowing sports betting in the Palmetto State. “Sports betting is growing like crazy," she says. "The bill that has been introduced for South Carolina calls for a 10% tax rate on adjusted gross revenue. So it would be a real income producer for the state."

According to the bill, 80% of the revenue would go to the lottery for education in South Carolina, 15% would go to the general fund, and 5% for Problem Gambling programs. But there are some rules: you have to be at least 21 years old and athletes are not allowed to wager in the sport that they participate in.

Loda says it would be cost-effective for the government. "They don't have to build anything, they don't have to structure something like a whole lottery board and Lottery Commission and all of that -- it's handled by third party apps, like there's a couple of really big ones out there," she says. "And sports betting doesn't require hiring a lot of people. But that's okay now, because hospitality industry is having trouble finding enough people to support what's already there."

Loda says there could be some potential challenges. "In any kind of wagering and betting people can get overextended," she says. "You should only bet with what you can afford to lose." But she says with the success other states are seeing, South Carolina could see a lot of benefits. "It's a type of gaming for the current generation of young people," she says. "It's helping to grow sports, it's helping to grow state revenues. And it's helping -- believe it or not -- to support media money, because the more people who watch football on television, the more advertisers can charge for their spots. And sports betting is really adding to the number of people who watch sports on television so there's a widespread benefit."

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