Hawaii and Utah are the only two U.S. states without any legalized gaming action. But, this could soon change following the introduction of five gaming bills to the state’s legislature. The legislature has reviewed the five bills and forwarded them to committees for in-depth consideration.
Apart from that, the Aloha State has two other bills proposing building a state lottery. Currently, there is no lottery in Hawaii. Moreover, residents do not participate in multistate lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions.
Hawaii is also considering legalizing sports betting. The proposed bill suggests that licensed sportsbooks would offer their services in the state through mobile apps.
The sportsbooks would also offer several bet types, including in-play bets, straight bets, and prop bets. The bill does not mention wagering on fantasy sports betting.
HB 1820 Could Bring a Land-Based Casino in Hawaii
Two bills focus on bringing land-based casinos to Hawaii. HB 1962 is designed to allow a committee to compile a report showing potential revenue from casinos. Previously, the Hawaii legislators had tried to legalize gambling.
However, the process did not go through because of high building costs and public safety risks. Therefore, HB 1962 is also expected to address these two issues. Ideally, the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands has to study the potential impact of casinos in the state.
The study is expected to start by July once the committee approves it and finish before the end of this year. Its funding is coming from the general revenues of Hawaii.
The other bill, HB 1820, would allow building a casino in Waikiki. It will also create the Hawaii Gaming Control Commission, which will oversee casino operations. Other things detailed in HB 1820 are a revenue tax, compulsive gambler program, and a gaming fund for the state.
Hawaii State Lottery
Apart from two casino bills, the state has two other bills about creating a lottery. HB 2040 details the creation of creating Hawaii Lottery and Gaming Corporation. It also states that revenue generated from the lottery would go to community development.
Once the bill is approved, the gaming corporation would host two games annually to attract tourists, enter multistate contests, run games of chance and skill, and give free-play sweepstakes to attract visitors.
The other bill, HB 2485, is about creating a lottery commission that would use funds generated by the lottery to solve invasive species problems. The bill also requires monthly revenue statistics.
What About Sports Betting?
Hawaii is all-in about legalizing all forms of gambling in the state. As such, the legislature is considering legalizing sports betting too.
As a fast-growing industry in the U.S., every state feels the need to legalize sports betting. It has helped generate thousands of dollars in tax revenue that states could use to fund various projects.
HB 1973 will allow people above 18 years to bet on sports events at legalized sportsbooks. The bill also outlines all the requirements a sportsbook must meet to get an operating license.
Also, the bill suggests the Department of Business, Economic, Development, and Tourism supervise licensed sportsbooks. The bill also separates sports betting from games of chances. Meanwhile, Hawaiian bettors will continue betting and playing at sportsbooks and casinos hosted overseas.
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