Columbia, SC (WTLX) -- Raising money through raffle could become legal in South Carolina.
A senate bill would make charity and non-profit raffles legal, and requiring the funds for to charitable purpose.
The bill passed a senate subcommittee Wednesday afternoon.
"You've got legitimate, bona fide, fund raising efforts to be hamstrung, really, by a very antiquated view on gambling and our definition of a game of chance and an illegal activity," said Horry County Senator Luke Rankin. "I hope that we will join the main stream of the country in recognizing that this isn't a criminal operation."
The proposal would not apply to "Vegas" , "casino" or "Monte Carlo" themed nights or electronic gaming machines.
It would allow groups to register with the secretary of state's office to operate the raffles, some groups would be able to hold raffles without registration.
Lawmakers and community groups have worked on the issue for years and some say the change in long overdue.
"The overwhelming refrain from all sides of this today is this product represents the best we could hope for. That there is no sense of an addictive quality or raffling and that again, for the first times in 7 or 8 years we're now on the same page," said Rankin. He added groups concerned of gambling addictions seems to agree that raffling does not pose that risk.
If the bill clears the House and Senate it will still require a constitutional amendment, which would come up for a vote on the 2014 general election ballot.
Lawmakers say it could be 2015 before we could see those legal raffles in place.