Hawaii currently does not allow any forms of gambling but this is set to change with a number of bills up for discussion
Hawaii, located within the central Pacific Ocean is aiming to introduce sports betting in order to boost its generated revenue. Presently, Hawaii's main source of generated income is tourism which is currently at a standstill due to the pandemic.
Therefore, Hawaii is facing an estimated $1.4billion budget annual deficit for the next four years. Currently, there are no forms of legal gambling currently offered in Hawaii.
A drafted bill, SB595, proposed the creation of a sports gambling task force and would ultimately implement the recommendations during 2022 and 2023.
Furthermore, another bill - HB 736 has been put through in order to amend the states current definition of gambling to exclude “digital” sports betting.
The bills aim is to initiate a pilot program through the state’s department of business, economic development and tourism to issue licences for mobile Hawaii sports betting.
Moving onto another Bill, HB850 aims to legalise and regulate daily fantasy sports in Hawaii, exempting them from current state gambling laws.
Hawaii's proposed bills do not stop at these three. Another two similar bills propose a casino-resort that will be operated by the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.
Further bills also suggest a state lottery and a single casino-resort at the Hawaii Convention Center while another bill proposes a task force to study the potential of offshore gaming, lottery and two casinos.
However, in spite of all the above proposals, sports betting will not be included in certain offerings such as HB 363 and SB 561 - which prohibit sports betting.
With all these proposals being pushed and Hawaii's economy struggling due to the pandemic, it is inevitable that gaming will be introduced to the state - sooner rather than later.
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