Thursday, June 01, 2006

S.C. Supreme Court holds that localities cannot ban possession of pleasure boats used for gambling

In Palmetto Princess v. Town of Edisto Beach, the state supreme court once again considered gambling issues. Section 58-138 of a local Edisto ordinance prohibits the possession of a gambling device on a vessel within the waters of the municipal boundaries of Edisto operated for the purposes of conducting a day cruise. In a DJ action, the trial court held that this ordinance violates South Carolina Code Ann. 5-7-30: "Each municipality of the State . . . may enact . . . ordinances, not inconsistent with the Constitution and general law of this State, . . . for preserving health, peace, order, and good government in it . . . ." (Emphasis added). Because it is not against state law to have a gambling day cruise, the Supreme Court agreed that Edisto's ordinance is unconstitutional.

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