Post Tagged with: "Myrtle Beach"

Internet Sweepstakes Ban Passes SC House

March 22, 2013 9:00 AM
Internet Sweepstakes Ban Passes SC House

A bill South Carolina legislators say will close the current loopholes in state gambling laws making internet sweepstakes games illegal is awaiting Gov. Nikki Haley’s signature to become law.

After failing to pass a similar bill last year, legislators wasted no time in this new legislative session getting the ban in place.

The legislation clarifies what has been a messy situation throughout the state where the games were considered illegal in some jurisdictions and legal in others. In Horry County it was both with Myrtle Beach allowing the games, until SLED raids closed several parlors in the city recently, while the games were considered illegal in the unincorporated areas of the county.

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Internet Sweepstakes Ban Inches Forward

January 16, 2013 9:19 AM
Internet Sweepstakes Ban Inches Forward

A bill to ban internet sweepstakes games took a key step forward yesterday when it passed second reading in the Senate by a 40-2 margin.

The bill seeks to close any loophole business owners cite, in the state’s gambling laws, to operate so-called sweepstakes cafes. Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin said the bill clears up any ambiguity in the law.

The state banned video gambling in 2000. Operators of internet sweepstakes cafes say the games compare to the sweepstakes that McDonald’s uses as a promotion every year. Law enforcement officials in the state contend that they are merely another form of gambling.

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Internet Sweepstakes Growing in South Carolina

January 5, 2013 8:00 AM
Internet Sweepstakes Growing in South Carolina

A recent ruling by the North Carolina Supreme Court outlawing internet sweepstakes games has led to a strong push by the internet sweepstakes industry into South Carolina.

There is no state law that specifically addresses the issue of internet sweepstakes gaming parlors or machines. Bills have been pre-filed in both the S.C. House and Senate to close the loophole in the law during the legislative session beginning next week.

Throughout the state, judges interpreting the current state laws prohibiting gambling, have come down on both sides of the issue. In some areas internet sweepstakes games have been declared legal, in others not.

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Martin Luther King Day Seeks Musical Talent

December 29, 2012 3:00 PM
Martin Luther King Day Seeks Musical Talent

Carolina Has Talent, a musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., is included in the three-day Martin Luther King Celebratory Weekend, Jan. 19-21, 2012, in Myrtle Beach.

A latecomer to recognizing Martin Luther King Day as a holiday, Myrtle Beach has quickly closed the void by combining traditional celebration events with non-traditional events to promote a spirit of unity throughout the community.

One of these is the Carolina Has Talent event, which will be a musical talent competition with cash prizes and other rewards to the top competitors.

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Beware of Local Option Sales Tax Referendum

October 31, 2012 10:00 AM
Beware of Local Option Sales Tax Referendum

Voters in Richland and Georgetown counties should be wary when they go to the polls next week to vote on the one-cent local option sales tax referendum they will see on the ballot.

Inspired by politicians as a way to claim taxpayers voted to tax themselves, the referendum couldn’t be placed on the ballot before first passing a three reading ordinance at county council followed by a massive public relations campaign to convince voters this is a good thing.

One only has to look to Horry County to see what can happen.

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May Bike Rallies Issue Rises Again

September 14, 2012 10:00 PM
May Bike Rallies Issue Rises Again

The May bike rallies were a topic of discussion during the Horry County Public Safety Committee meeting Thursday when county Public Safety Director Paul Whitten disclosed the county lost approximately $190,000 policing the two rallies this year.

The amount of the loss drew raised eyebrows from several committee members who called for a full discussion before county council.

That the bike rallies cost the county money should be no surprise after the contentious debate over vendor permits earlier this year.

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Controversial MBREDC Project Blue on Hold

September 1, 2012 8:00 AM
Controversial MBREDC Project Blue on Hold

The Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation has requested the final vote by Horry County Council on Project Blue incentives be delayed from its currently scheduled September 4, 2012 regular council meeting.

Third reading approval and public review of Ordinance 53-12 is currently listed as a published agenda item for the September 4th meeting. The ordinance proposes to issue up to $8 million in county general obligation debt to help fund incentives of the project. The agenda will have to be amended to delay third reading.

According to information we have received, EDC CEO Brad Lofton notified county officials in an e-mail late Thursday afternoon that, while the project retains full support of the EDC, the agency was requesting a short delay before third reading is considered by council.

Project Blue ran into trouble earlier in the week when myhorrynews.com broke a story about the criminal history of Covation COO David L. Rocker, which includes a tax fraud conviction, jail sentence and continuing tax liens.

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Public Money, Corporate Welfare

August 29, 2012 11:44 AM
Public Money, Corporate Welfare

The revelations Monday of a tax fraud conviction and jail sentence for one of the company officials associated with the Myrtle Beach Regional Economic Development Corporation’s Project Blue leads to a conclusion of an apparent shocking lack of due diligence by a number of entities charged with fiscal responsibility for the expenditure of public money.

In many state and local jurisdictions throughout the U.S., conviction of a felony by a corporate officer, especially one associated with tax fraud, would automatically exempt a company from consideration for public money economic development incentives. Such does not appear to be the case in Horry County or South Carolina.

The EDC has put together a deal that would involve approximately $24 million in local and state incentives to Covation, a startup company with no demonstrated performance records.

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General Assembly Action Needed on Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

August 2, 2012 7:04 PM
General Assembly Action Needed on Internet Sweepstakes Cafes

Federal lawsuits, state arrests, judges giving opposing rulings on the same law and the current head and former head of SLED on different sides of the issue, this is the world of internet sweepstakes cafes in South Carolina.

Sound confusing – absolutely – but it is really an example of the General Assembly fiddling while South Carolina burns.

While the General Assembly spent a large portion of this year’s session determining how to spend an additional approximately $1.2 billion in unexpected excess revenue, it virtually ignored several bills introduced to regulate or outlaw the internet sweepstakes café industry.

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Is Myrtle Beach Tourism Tax Working?

July 15, 2012 5:56 PM
Is Myrtle Beach Tourism Tax Working?

Local television stations carry daily ads telling us the Myrtle Beach tourism tax is ‘working.’ The ads are run by the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and its associated entities in the hospitality and business community.

Beneficiary of approximately $18 million per year from revenue generated by the tax, the Chamber has good reason to advertise the tourism tax is working. Its marketing arm, the Myrtle Beach Area Convention and Visitors Bureau receives the proceeds from the tax to spend in ‘out-of-area’ advertising to promote tourism to the Grand Strand.

But, going beyond the advertising message (dare we call it propaganda?) one has to ask how is the tax working.

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