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Boat Owners Vow to Battle if Ban Passes

14 March 2002

SOUTH CAROLINA -- As reported by The (South Carolina) Sun News: ``Dwayne Williams says he spent $2 million in legal fees to get a casino boat in South Carolina, and he's willing to spend more fighting Horry County's attempt to drive him out.

``While some Little River residents praised Horry County Council's action toward banning the floating casinos, two casino boat owners vowed Wednesday to sue if the ban receives final approval.

```I spent a lot of money in South Carolina, and I will definitely be in the middle of the fight,' said Williams, co-owner of the Southern Elegance casino boat.

``...Little River residents have recently questioned why Horry County had not enacted a casino boat ban while five other local governments in the state have. None of the bans have been challenged.

``Councilman Gene Smith, who proposed the ordinance that passed on first reading Tuesday, said the legal threats don't change his position.

``...The only three gambling boats in South Carolina are all docked in Little River - Stardancer, SunCruz VII and Southern Elegance. In the past year, other boats have tried unsuccessfully to operate in Horry County.

``A resolution from County Council to the Senate Judiciary Committee asking it to approve the bill was hand-delivered Wednesday. The resolution also asks that if the General Assembly fails to pass the ban that it grant local governments the authority to do so.

``...Williams said he is sure the three boats in Little River will unite to fight the county if it tries to enforce a ban..."

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