Businesses in Aiken County have less than two weeks to remove any sweepstakes, video poker or other games of chance before deputies will begin filing charges for having the illegal machines.
“It will affect a good many businesses in the county,” Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Troy Elwell said Friday.
He estimates that at least half of the gas stations in Aiken County have gaming machines.
The law has been on the books in South Carolina since 2000 but has not been fully enforced throughout the state in recent years.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is pushing for a crackdown on the machines.
The statue, Section 12-21-2710, says it is illegal to possess or operate any sweepstakes, video poker or other electronic game of chance that might have a payout in cash, vouchers, gift cards or merchandise.
Anyone found in possession of the games after April 23 will be charged with a misdemeanor and could
be fined up to $500 and sentenced to up to one year in jail.