Create surcharge for sweepstakes

January 13, 2013 

Re Jan. 4 article on gambling, sweepstakes parlors

Mr. Weisberg has a legitimate complaint in that the state and Horry County have let Internet sweepstakes parlors operate freely, while his casino ships have had to pay a per-person surcharge.

Since it doesn’t seem likely that the state or Horry County will eliminate sweepstakes parlors, I suggest the state adopt a $5 per person entrance fee on every person that enters a sweepstakes parlor or any entity that advertises Internet sweepstakes, video gaming, video poker, or any other title that implies any sort of gambling/games of chance.

I further suggest that Horry County lower their surcharge on SunCruz Casino boats to $5 per person to make the gambling charge fair and equitable. If the state, or each county, does not enact the sweepstakes parlor surcharge, and video gaming continues, then Horry County should drop the surcharge for SunCruz.

Enacting the across the gambling board surcharge/entrance fee would bring hundreds of thousands of dollars to the state and each county each year. (1 parlor with 50 visitors a day could generate over $73,000 to the county and $18,000 to the state each year, just on an entrance fee.)

Each county should be responsible for enforcing the surcharge and monthly fee collection. The potential county income alone should be enough incentive for each county to enforce the surcharge collection process. To give the state a share of the pie, the county should be responsible for giving one of every five dollars collected to the state.

The writer lives in Little River.

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