July 11, 2024 3 min read

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Hawaii Governor Signs 17 New Bills, Tightens Gambling Framework

One the recently signed bills by the Governor expands the enforcement of gambling

Legislative changes in Hawaii seek to strengthen the gambling regulations and combat illegal gambling activities across the state. The changes marked one bill out of more than a dozen signed by Hawaii Gov. Josh Green earlier this week.

Overall, the Governor greenlighted 17 important bills that sought to increase public safety and improve crime prevention and law enforcement in Hawaii. The bills are expected to bring meaningful changes, effectively combatting different criminal activities and also serving as a deterrence.

One of the bills focused on the expansion of gambling enforcement. The bill, SB2197, expanded the definition of “advance gambling activity.” The recently greenlighted initiative included different “forms of material aid to gambling activities, such as creating gambling games, maintaining equipment and managing financial operations.”

As described by Gov. Green’s Office: “The Act emphasizes the responsibility of those with control over premises used for gambling and includes a repeal and reenactment clause effective July 1, 2029.”

In other words, the legislation seeks to combat illegal gambling activities by making the operators and owners of such establishments criminally liable. Ultimately, the enforcement of SB2197 is expected to reduce the number of illegal gambling venues.

In addition to expanding gambling enforcement, Gov. Green approved a number of other proposals, including SB2845 which regulates the access to ammunition for individuals under the age of 21 and SB2601 which extends the civil action applicable for childhood sexual abuse.

Further bills that were also signed included HB2231 which focused on increasing the diversity in law enforcement agencies across Hawaii, as well as other important proposals to the benefit of public safety and law enforcement.

The Bills Help Make Hawaii Safer

Honolulu prosecutors recently quoted by Maui Now revealed that the new legislation is likely going to close a loophole that used to stop them from charging people involved in illegal gambling activities.

Additionally, they warned: “Illegal gambling establishments throughout the state — and perhaps most alarmingly in our residential neighborhoods — have become notorious for attracting and fostering violence, illicit drugs, sex trafficking and other dangerous activity.”

Finally, the prosecutors outlined that illegal gambling activities harm communities.

By addressing issues ranging from gun control to gambling regulation and support for survivors of abuse, we are building a safer and more just Hawai’i.

Gov. Josh Green

Gov. Green’s Office released a statement outlining that the recently approved bills represent a major advancement toward public safety. He said that the greenlighted bills complement the efforts of law enforcement in the state. Last but not least, Green noted that the bills tackle a number of issues in the state and ultimately seek to make Hawaii safer.

Journalist

Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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