Abandoned Castle Video Games

A royal relic from the time that gambling was accidentally made legal in South Carolina. 

The defunct casino structure CASTLE VIDEO GAMES is a noticeable feature in the neighborhood. The exterior of the castle is made of stone, and it has turrets, an arched wooden entryway, a towering statue of a knight, and other typical castle elements. It remains sturdy despite falling into disrepair for many years, and its rustic surroundings in South Carolina lend an air of charm. Situated in the small, quiet town of Blacksburg, South Carolina, just off the interstate, the Castle Video Games facility has an unusual backdrop for an even stranger story.

In South Carolina, gambling was intended to be prohibited. In actuality, South Carolina has had a written gambling ban in place since 1802. However, in 1986, a cunning lawmaker surreptitiously added an amendment to a bill that discreetly legalized gambling by allowing video gaming. It appears that this was not even recognized by the state until 1989, a full three years later.

Of course, video poker took off in the early 1990s as it became apparent that gambling was once again unintentionally allowed. Arcades for gambling have proliferated throughout South Carolina, sometimes situated near state borders where gambling was still prohibited. In restaurants, gas stations, bowling alleys, and corner stores, you could see people chasing losses on video poker machines around this time.

Naturally, though, good things come to an end. The Supreme Court of South Carolina outlawed video poker and once more prohibited gambling in 1999. It was supposedly a $2.8 billion industry at the time. The lights of Blacksburg’s Castle Video Games suddenly went out. Still standing and in fairly good shape, the castle is a strange reminder of the days when South Carolina was ruled by video poker.

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