Is it legal to "take friendly bets" on sporting events at a fundraising event?
Answered by: Sharon Thomas

No. Though it may seem like a fun way to raise a little money for your favorite nonprofit while enjoying your favorite sport, according to SC Law, doing so would be defined as gambling and is therefore illegal.  See below, the statute.

SECTION 16-19-130. Betting, pool selling, bookmaking and the like are prohibited.

Any person within this State who:

  1. Engages in betting at any race track, pool selling or bookmaking, with or without writing, at any time or place;
  2. Keeps or occupies any room, shed, tenement, booth, building, float or vessel, or any part thereof, or occupies any place or stand of any kind upon any public or private grounds within this State with books, papers, apparatus or paraphernalia for the purpose of recording or registering bets or wagers or of selling pools;
  3. Records or registers bets or wagers or sells pools or makes books, with or without writing, upon the result of any (a) trial or contest of skill, speed or power of endurance of man or beast, (b) political nomination, appointment or election or (c) lot, chance, casualty, unknown or contingent event whatsoever;
  4. Receives, registers, records or forwards or purports or pretends to receive, register, record or forward, in any manner whatsoever, any money, thing or consideration of value bet or wagered or offered for the purpose of being bet or wagered by or for any other person or sells pools upon any such result;
  5. Being the owner, lessee or occupant of any room, shed, tenement, tent, booth, building, float or vessel, or part thereof, or of any grounds within this State knowingly permits the same to be used or occupied for any of these purposes or therein keeps, exhibits or employs any device or apparatus for the purpose of recording or registering such bets or wagers or the selling of such pools or becomes the custodian or depository for gain, hire or reward of any money, property or thing of value staked, wagered or pledged or to be wagered or pledged upon any such result; or
  6. Aids, assists or abets in any manner in any of the aforesaid acts, which are hereby forbidden;

Shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.