Hawaii Legislature to Consider 5 Gaming Bills

Bettors in Hawaii could have big news soon. The state’s legislature is considering five bills that each would either establish or clear the way for some form of gaming in the Aloha State. Currently, Hawaii joins Utah as the only two US states to not allow any type of gaming action. The five House Bills have all been reviewed by legislators and moved to committees for further consideration.

A wide range of gaming topics is covered in the proposed bills. Two of the house bills deal with the possibility of bringing a casino to Hawaii. The well-known area of Waikiki is named as a specific building site in HB1820. Currently, bettors in Hawaii have to rely on online casinos.

There are also two bills that address the possibility of creating a state lottery in Hawaii. The Aloha State does not have a state lottery. Hawaii also does not partake in multi-state lotteries, such as Mega Millions or Powerball.

Sports fans on the island will be happy to know that there is a bill to legalize sports betting in Hawaii. The proposed bill would allow approved sportsbooks to operate in the state. Bettors could use mobile apps, and place a variety of bets including prop bets, in-play bets, and straight bets. Unfortunately, the bill would not allow for wagering on fantasy sports contests.

Could Hawaii Have a Casino Soon?

Hawaii is one of the few states that has zero land-based casinos. There are two bills in house committees that could change that. HB 1962 would allow for a report on the potential revenues from casinos to be conducted. HB 1820 would go several steps further and establish a casino in Waikiki.

Legislators in Hawaii have tried to legalize gambling in the past. However, past efforts fell short due to concerns about the cost of building casinos as well as the public safety risk. HB 1962 would look to address those issues. The bill would require the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands to conduct a study on the potential impact of casinos in Hawaii. HB 1962 asks three specific questions:

  • How feasible are limited gaming casinos in Hawaii?
  • How much revenue would be produced by limited gaming casinos?
  • How should officials address the potential public safety risks posed by limited gaming casinos?

The study would be funded out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii. If passed, the act would go into effect at the beginning of July. It is estimated that the study would be finished before the start of the 2023 session.

Another bill was recently introduced that addresses bringing a casino to Hawaii. HB 1820 would allow for a 10 -year license for a stand-alone casino in Waikiki. The casino would be members-only and would not be part of a hotel. Guests who are 21 and older who are staying at a hotel on Oahu would be able to $20 per day to access the casino.

HB1820 would also create the Hawaii Gaming Control Commission to oversee the casino. It would also create a wagering tax on gross receipts. The bill would establish a Hawaii gaming fund and compulsive gambler program.

Two Bills on the Table Regarding a Hawaii State Lottery

In addition to the two bills concerning a casino, there are also two bills in committee that deal with establishing a lottery in Hawaii. HB 2040 calls the creation of a Hawaii Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Under HB 2040, revenue from the lottery would go toward community improvement. HB 2485 on the other hand would create a lottery commission. The commission would use funds from the lottery to address issues related to invasive species.

If adopted, HB 2040 would create the Hawaii Lottery and Gaming Corporation. Under the proposed bill, the Corporation would be able to:

  • Operate games of chance and skill
  • Enter into agreements for multistate games
  • Offer free-play games and sweepstakes to attract tourists
  • Conduct up to 2 gaming events per year to attract tourists

According to the current bill, the Corporation would use revenue from the lottery to fund community improvement projects. Some of the projects listed include funding for education programs, assisting in funding professional development for educators, addressing heat abatement issues in public schools.

The other lottery bill, HB 2485, has several key differences from HB 2040. For one, HB 2485 would establish the Hawaii State Lottery Commission, rather than the Hawaii Lottery and Gaming Corporation. The Commission’s director would be in charge of determining the types of games available. HB 2485 would require monthly revenue reports instead of the quarterly reports required by HB 2040.

HB 2485 also differs in the way revenue from the lottery would be spent. HB 2040 calls for funds to be put toward education programs. Meanwhile, HB 2485 would see revenue put toward addressing issues from invasive species.

There are some similarities between the bills. Both bills would allow participants of at least 18-years-old to play. They would also both create new regulatory bodies to oversee the lottery. Also, both bills would allow for Hawaii to join multi-state lottery games.

Will Hawaii Legalize Sports Betting?

A state lottery and a new casino are not the only betting options on the table. Legislators are also considering a bill that would legalize sports betting in Hawaii. Sports betting has quickly become one of the fastest-growing industries in the US. Many other states have generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from their sportsbooks.

For Hawaii to join in on the action this year, legislators would have to pass HB 1973. The bill would allow for anyone over the age of 18 to place wagers on sporting events at a licensed sportsbook.

HB 1973 also outlines the requirements for sports wagering operators, such as initial licensing fees. The Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism would oversee licensed operators. HB 1973 would separate sports betting from games of chance or gambling.

Conclusion

Big changes could be coming soon for bettors in Hawaii. The Aloha State’s legislature currently has five bills in committee that would legalize some form of gambling. Currently, Hawaii is one of two states that does not offer some form of legal gaming.

Among the bills in committees, HB 1820 and HB 1962 deal with the possibility of establishing a casino in Hawaii. HB 2040 and 2485 would both establish a state lottery and a new organization to oversee it. There is also a bill that would legalize sports betting in Hawaii. HB 1973 would put the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism in charge of overseeing licensed sportsbooks.

There are many differences among the bills, but there are many commonalities as well. All the bills focus on increasing tourism to the Aloha State. They also call for funds from gaming to fund various state programs. Some of the programs listed included education and programs that fight invasive species.

Are Hawaii’s Rules on Casinos Set to Change Soon?

As many gamblers are aware, Hawaii is known for its hardline stance on most forms of gambling. A growing number of individuals are now pushing for things to change and argue that a regulated gambling industry would bring the state more tourism and revenue. Today, we’ll talk about whether or not Hawaii’s rules on casinos could change soon.

There are some big discussions taking place in this state right now. Many of Hawaii’s leaders are in serious need of new flows of money coming in. Now is a great time to talk about what could lead to a change here.

Let’s get into it!

Gaming Destinations Continue to Report Major Revenue Spikes

The US land-based casino industry has been severely affected by the events that began unfolding in 2020. The pandemic showed how vulnerable casinos really are. As these venues were forced to shut down, many saw their revenue figures come to a screeching halt.

The great thing is that things are bouncing back considerably faster than many initially expected. As vaccine distribution ramps up around the country, infection rates continue to fall. This is resulting in a major travel boom.

Places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City continue to see massive jumps in their tourism and revenue numbers. It’s a much-needed trend for the casino companies operating here. Most analysts expect this to continue as 2021 goes on.

Not long ago, the American Gaming Association also released a report that details how much gaming revenue was brought in during 2021’s first quarter. Many were astounded to see how much money New Jersey’s casinos brought in over January, February, and March. These gaming venues managed to generate $993.7 million in GGR.

Some states are now taking a closer look at expanding their set of gambling laws. Certain officials in these states believe a legal casino industry will be beneficial in the long run. That includes Hawaii, which has prohibited traditional casinos for many years.

There seems to be a major debate over whether or now casinos should be allowed in Hawaii. Here’s a quick look at how things may change here in the near future.

More Officials Consider Changing Hawaii’s Rules on Casinos

Hawaii is home to some of the more unique laws in the United States. Residents here want to preserve much of their own customs. That means many of the businesses found throughout the United States are prohibited in Hawaii.

All traditional Class III casinos are completely banned here. There have been arguments to change that over the years. To the surprise of some individuals, no laws to allow casinos have ever been put in place here.

New reports indicate that may never change. Reports surfaced this week claiming 52% of polled individuals do not want Hawaii’s rules on casinos to change. These individuals believe allowing casinos will result in more crime and gambling addiction.

Back in January, news broke that a proposal to allow some form of legalized gambling in Hawaii was being proposed. Very little news on this proposal came out since that time. Based on the recent poll, it seems there was public backlash to this idea.

Don’t expect to see any casinos in Hawaii this year. In fact, Hawaii may decide to remain one of the US states to prohibit this form of gambling. Those living in Hawaii will need to take a trip in order to play blackjack in a land-based casino.

Legalized sports betting has quickly spread around the United States. Is there any chance Hawaii may decide to embrace this more commonly-accepted form of gambling?

Will Hawaii Ever Legalize Sports Betting?

For decades, Nevada was the only US state legally able to offer sports betting. This was due to a law known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court famously decided to strike down PASPA.

This decision immediately gave every state around the country the ability to legalize and regulate sports betting. Several states, including Delaware and New Jersey, almost immediately decided to embrace this popular form of gambling.

It has paid off massively for the states with a regulated sports betting industry up and running. That is particularly true for the ones that allow online sports betting. Most are now seeing a staggering amount of revenue flowing in from this industry.

As of now, it seems unlikely that Hawaii will decide to embrace sports betting anytime soon. It’s one of the few states to make no progress with any sports gambling bills. The majority of residents here push against the idea of legalizing this form of gambling.

Anything is possible, though. Sports betting is being embraced in many areas of the country where casino gambling is still banned. Perhaps lawmakers here will begin to take a closer look at this industry over the next few years.

Do you think Hawaii’s rules on casinos will ever change? Will sports betting ever become legal here? Let us know in the comments section below!

The Casino Plans in Kapolei Have Just Been Approved!

Hawaii

For decades, lawmakers in Hawaii have been pushing hard to get a casino-resort approved in the state. Despite their best efforts, the state has continued to push against any expanded gambling plans. This week, however, the Hawaiian Homes Commission finally approved new casino plans in Kapolei!

This is exciting news for those supporting Hawaii to embrace casinos. It doesn’t immediately allow for construction on a casino-resort to begin, though. Today, we’ll talk about what this latest development means for the casino industry in this state.

Let’s get into it!

More States Crack Down on Land-Based Casino Industries

It’s difficult to explain how much the US casino industry has been damaged this year. Prior to 2020, this industry was thriving with many new casinos appearing around the country. Beginning in March, however, things took a huge turn.

It was this month that every single casino around the country closed down its doors. It took months before any of these casinos reopened to the public. Now, nine months later, many casinos around the country are shutting down once again.

This is state-ordered in many parts of the country. Illinois, for example, recently forced all of its commercial casinos to temporarily close their doors. It’s a big turn when considering this state approved a measure to expand its casino industry just a year ago.

Pennsylvania has been forcing casinos to shut down again, too. This state is faring better than some of the other ones, though. Pennsylvania regulates online gambling and internet sports betting, helping to bring in some much-needed revenue right now.

Massachusetts is the latest state to implement more intense regulations towards casinos. Governor Charlie Baker has just ordered casinos to lower their total capacity to just 25%. This is expected to damage the already-struggling casino industry here.

Hawaii has always prohibited land-based casinos. That could soon change, though. New reports claim that a measure to allow a casino-resort in Kapolei has just been approved.

Hawaiian House Commission Approves New Casino Plans in Kapolei

There’s been a major push to get casinos up and running in Hawaii for many years. To the disappointment of many gambling fans, these efforts have all failed. Things may finally be coming together towards the end of 2020, though.

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands presented a plan to open a casino-resort in Kapolei earlier this year. This week, the Hawaiian House Commission formally approved the new casino plans in Kapolei. This vote was passed in the department by a 5-4 margin.

This is a huge moment for the state’s gambling industry. This measure will now make its way to the Department of the Attorney General. Approval here will move the measure to the Department of Budget & Finance.

In the end, Governor Ige will need to decide on whether or not to include this measure in his upcoming legislative packet. There’s clearly still a long way for these plans to go. It’s still the closest that the state has ever come to legalizing a major casino-resort.

If all goes according to plan, a new Hawaii Gaming Commission will also be formed. The measure even details the way to obtain a gaming license, and discusses the fees and criteria for obtaining a casino license here.

Casino fans have reason to celebrate. Many believe that a casino could help to significantly boost tourism rates throughout the state. We’ll continue offering updates on this situation over the next couple of months!

Online Casino Gambling Options Available in Hawaii

The push to allow land-based casinos in Hawaii has been raging for many years. All of these efforts have failed, though. The recent approval of casino plans in Kapolei is the first major step forward for this industry in decades.

That doesn’t mean casino gambling is impossible here, though. There are many great online casinos available in Hawaii. These aren’t directly regulated by the state, yet most are extremely safe and offer their members a wide range of fantastic games.

One of the most popular sites is Bovada. This site launched back in 2011 and has quickly become one of the most trusted gambling websites in the country. Fans of table games, in particular, will love this site.

Many hope that internet casinos in Hawaii will become state-regulated sometime in the near future. Many states are earning a huge amount of money from this industry right now. First, though, it seems likely that the state will need to approve land-based casinos.

If all goes according to plan, we could see a major casino-resort open its doors in Kapolei in the future. A lot can happen in just a few years.

Do you think we’ll see a casino-resort open in Hawaii sometime soon? Let us know in the comments section below!

Proposal To Build Casino in Kapolei on the Table

Hawaii City CoastlineThe Hawaiian Homes Commission is scheduled to meet on Monday to consider a legislative proposal that would allow gambling in Hawaii, but only for the limited purpose of casino gaming and only on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) land in Kapolei. If the proposal passes, it will next go to the governor then to the legislature.

Under the bill, gambling would be legalized in Hawaii, at least as far as a Kapolei casino is concerned. A Hawaii Gaming Commission would be set up and it will have the power to approve or revoke gaming licenses as well as investigate gaming companies. The licenses would be restricted to DHHL lands in Kapolei that are set aside for commercial use and DHHL will get tax payments on gaming revenues.

In a statement, DHHL Deputy chair Tyler Iopeka homes said:

“Given the impact of COVID-19 on our economy, the Department is proposing a bold measure that’s proven successful for indigenous groups in generating critically needed revenue to improve the lives of their people. We are at a pivotal moment in the history of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and resources to develop infrastructure and acquire lands will be needed to fulfill the vision of Prince Kuhio.”

Not Enough Funding

Even before the pandemic began, DHHL said that the state wasn’t providing it the right amount of funding to fulfill its function. Currently, there are about 28,000 Hawaiians on the wait list for a homestead lot. But at the state’s current funding level, the DHHL says it would take them “one hundred years” to fulfill the needs of its beneficiaries. The DHHL is hoping that legalizing gambling would help them build more homes for Hawaiians.

The proposal did not specify a location for the casino. However, speculations have centered on a land near the DHHL’s Ka Makana Alii Shopping Center. In recent years, there have been several hotels built near that area and these establishments would benefit from the establishment of a Kapolei casino.

Unlikely to Get Legislature’s Approval

DHHL notes in a bill summary that the proposal is still under review for inclusion in the governor’s administrative package of bills for the next legislative session which will begin on January 20, 2021. Just like any proposed change in law, it will still have to go through the legislature for approval, which right now seems unlikely.

Last Monday, Senate President Ron Kouchi said that he will not support any plan to legalize gambling any form of gambling in Hawaii. Kapolei representative Sen. Mike Gabbard also opposes the proposed bill saying that gambling is well outside the DHHL’s mandate of providing housing for Hawaiians. Moreover, Gabbard says that a Kapolei casino will only lead to poverty, substance abuse, and other negative impact on Hawaiian families.