Berkeley Co. sheriff: Sweepstakes parlors are illegal

BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office is notifying businesses and organizations with sweepstakes-type gaming machines that any and all gambling and gaming machines are illegal and must be removed immediately.

"It is a crime to gamble or possess gaming machines in South Carolina," Sheriff H. Wayne 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."

"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.