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South Carolina Retail Licensing Bill Set Aside

April 18, 2013

The judiciary committee of the South Carolina state senate has voted 13-8 to “table”—or set aside—legislation that would raise the permitted number of alcohol licenses per retail operator in the state from three to seven. The vote represents a temporary victory for South Carolina’s smaller beverage alcohol retailers—aligned under the ABC Stores of South Carolina trade group—who have warned that they’ll be run out of business if larger chain operators such as Total Wine & More, Costco, Walmart and others expand their Palmetto State presences through the expanded licensing opportunities proposed.

Total Wine, which already operates three stores in South Carolina, has aggressively lobbied for passage of the measure, and Walmart has now enlisted a lobbyist to help make the same case, a source tells Shanken News Daily. While sidetracked for now, the licensing issue could reappear later in the year.

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