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Ban Proposed on South Carolina Gambling Cruises

24 January 2002

COLUMBIA, South Carolina – Jan. 24, 2002 –As reported by the (South Carolina) Post and Courier: "Ships that set sail from South Carolina ports into international waters for the specific purpose of offering gambling would be banned under a measure passed by a House panel Wednesday.

"The Constitutional Laws Subcommittee unanimously approved a bill prohibiting so-called cruises to nowhere and immediately drew fire from casino boat operators.

"…`If you pass this bill, you will put 350 people out of work,' Wade `Bubba' Green of the Stardancer casino company said.

"…Three boats that operate near Little River just south of the North Carolina border near Myrtle Beach generated $5.3 million in payroll and brought in 60,137 patrons last year, Green said. About 67 percent of those playing came from out of state.

"…But Rep. Tracy Edge, R-North Myrtle Beach, said Little River is the fastest growing part of Horry County and does not need casino boats for survival.

"…`We already have a state-run lottery. We don't think we need to add to that,' said Joe Mack of the South Carolina Baptist Convention.

"…The bill allows cruise ships with gambling machines on board to dock in South Carolina if they have another destination on their schedule. Gambling would still not be allowed in state territorial waters…"

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