Local News

Video Gambling Drawing Players to South Carolina

Posted October 17, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— With one exception out west at the Cherokee Indian Reservation, North Carolina doesn't allow gambling. But to the north, there's the Virginia Lottery and to the south, there's video gaming. WRAL'sRick Gallshows how one South Carolina casino is going the extra mile to draw players from North Carolina.

With visions of winning, some people from Fayetteville boarded a bus at the Holiday Inn Bourdeaux. The "Victory Lane Express" is a new Thursday night shuttle bound for South Carolina. Within an hour, the passengers become gamblers at the Hot Rods Casino in Dillon, S.C. Gamblers can try their luck at video keno, video poker or a hand of blackjack. Five people can sit down around an electronic dealer.

Jon Ebel, a blackjack player, said it was very convenient.

The casino hopes to deal itself a full house by catering to North Carolinians. The shuttle service provides the ride, plus food and drinks for $10.

Steve Herrington, a player, said he sets a limit and just has a good time.

Chico Labute, Hot Rods general manager, said people wanted something different.

What's legal in Dillon is not just a thousand yards up the road, across the border. More than three quarters of the people who gamble at Hot Rods are from North Carolina. Hot Rods hopes to strike it rich by luring more and more of its northern neighbors.

Labute said he hopes to eventually run 20 shuttle buses a week out of North Carolina.