A public hearing is scheduled for 6 to 8 tonight at North Charleston City Hall to take comments on whether South Carolina should legalize charitable raffles and update social gambling laws.

The special Senate Judiciary subcommittee, appointed by Senate President Pro Tem Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, will meet in the third floor Council Chambers in city hall at 2500 City Hall Lane, North Charleston.

Other public hearings are scheduled for Greenville, Rock Hill and Florence. The dates and locations of those hearings are posted on the www.scstatehouse.gov website under the Citizens Interest button.

McConnell said lawmakers need to hear from the public before considering how to vote on the matter.

"I am hoping that we will find grass-roots support for changing these antiquated and outdated laws, dealing with both raffles and gambling," he said. "As I have repeatedly said, it makes no sense that qualified charitable organizations in this state cannot hold raffles to support their causes. Additionally, the gambling laws, written in the early 1800s, are so convoluted and difficult to interpret, that they need to be changed, if only to be sure that they are correctly and uniformly enforced."

The pushback comes from people who are concerned that changes to the state's gaming law could create a loophole that would allow for the return of video poker.