Local group to hold rally protesting the idea of casinos coming - WBTW-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Florence, SC

Local group to hold rally protesting the idea of casinos coming to Myrtle Beach

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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) - State Representative Todd Rutherford plans to introduce a bill next year that will allow gambling sites in the Myrtle Beach area.

The Democratic Party asked voters in its June primary if they would support South Carolina lawmakers using gambling as a way to raise the money needed to fix state roads and bridges.

At time 75% of voters said they were in favor of changes to state gambling laws as opposed to any tax increase.

The South Carolina Department of Transportation says it needs around $1.5 billion more a year for 20 years to bring roads up to what it calls "good condition."

Senator Rutherford told News13 that while it’s hard to estimate exactly how much money legalized gambling could generate, the license fees alone for two or three casinos in Myrtle Beach would mean hundreds of millions of dollars a year. He would want all of that money to be used for road repairs.

But, some people say that plan goes against the culture and family image of Myrtle Beach.

The group, Myrtle Beach People's Rally, is against legalizing gambling on the Grand Strand and it plans to hold a rally next month to discuss other solutions.

Organizers say despite the estimates, casinos may not bring enough money to fix South Carolina roads.

"I also believe that what's going on in Atlantic City with the Trump Casino closing. It's just not a good economic move for our state. It's not the wisest economic move for our state, other areas are seeing gambling shutdown,” Co-founder David Hucks said.

City spokesperson Mark Kruea told News13, Myrtle Beach City Council has not discussed the proposed legislation yet because Representative Rutherford has not contacted them yet.

The people's rally begins Friday, August 8 and runs through Saturday August 9 at the Pelicans Ballpark. The group plans to have several speakers and will offer up its own solutions as well.

Count on News13 to keep you covered.

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