SC bill decriminalizes kids' games

COLUMBIA -- A child playing pinball at Chuck E. Cheese would no longer be breaking the law, under a bill to exempt such games from the state's anti-gambling law.

 

"It's a common-sense bill," said Rep. Bill Herbkersman, R-Bluffton, who introduced H. 3708 with Rep. Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia. On Tuesday a House subcommittee approved the bill.

Two Frankie's Fun Park locations in the state, and seven Chuck E. Cheese, would be among the establishments to get a break under the bill. Historically law enforcement has not cracked down on young gamers. The bill extends to pinball, console machine, crane and claw devices, novelty arcade games, foosball, miniature racetrack, football or golf machines, skeeball, air hockey machine, trivia and others.

A similar bill was zapped last year because lawmakers worried it would create a loophole for the video poker industry to return to South Carolina.

Michael Gunn, a lobbyist for Research Services, said this year's bill would not affect the sections of state law that pertain to gambling.

Sarita Chourey can be reached at (803) 727-4257 or sarita.chourey@morris.com.

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