A measure prompted by a crackdown on social card games in Hilton Head passed the S.C. Senate on Tuesday, as a senator pushing the bill argued that the state's 1800s-era law needed to be brought into modern times.

The bill, S.779, sponsored by Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, passed easily, 39-0. State police had shut down bridge, Mahjong and other games at Sun City Hilton Head, a large retirement community. The state's crackdown prompted a huge backlash in the community.

Davis said that the state Supreme Court has asked the Legislature to update the law, which prohibits all forms of gambling - even non-betting games.

The bill does not allow any gambling. Davis has said that sometimes retirees in Sun City, a large age-restricted community, like to bet a few dollars on a game. That will remain illegal.

"We'll have to come up with some other way of keeping score," Davis said.

The measure now moves to the S.C. House for consideration.

Reach Jeremy Borden at 708-5837.