The Casino Plans in Kapolei Have Just Been Approved!


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.