February 1, 2023 3 min read


Hawaii Lawmakers Propose Raft of Bills to Legalize Gambling

The state Legislature in Hawaii is considering several bills related to the legalization of gambling in the state

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported that currently, Hawaii is one of only two states that has not legalized any form of commercial gambling, with Utah being the other.

Bills Encompass Casino Resort, Sports Wagering, Fantasy Contests, and a Lottery

One of the bills, House Bill 918, proposes to grant a 10-year license for a single “poker and sportsbook gaming facility” on the island of Oahu. The facility would only be accessible to individuals over the age of 21 who register to stay at a hotel and pay an annual fee.

The bill, introduced by Representatives John Mizuno and Daniel Holt, both Democrats from Oahu, would also establish a Hawaii Gaming Control Commission and a state gaming fund, as well as implement a tax on gross receipts and a program for treating gambling addiction.

There are four additional bills under consideration, including two related to sports wagering and two related to online fantasy sports.

Senate Bill 1109 and House Bill 344 aim to regulate sports wagering through the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. The bills would create licensing requirements for sports wagering operators and suppliers and specify that sports wagering is not considered a game of chance or gambling.

Two other Senate bills, SB 1108 and SB 1146 encompass online fantasy sports contests. They would establish a registration program for these contests and exempt them from state gambling laws. One of these bills would also impose a tax on the gross revenue of online fantasy sports contests and allocate funds to benefit public schools and county roads.

Additionally, Senate Bill 1107 aims to establish the Hawaii Lottery and Gaming Corporation for the purpose of conducting and regulating wagering and gaming in the state. This bill would also establish a special fund and allocate a portion of its proceeds to various community improvement initiatives.

Additional Bills Will Crack Down on Illegal Gambling

There are also several anti-gambling measures being considered, including two companion bills that would make operating an illegal gambling business a Class C felony with potential imprisonment of up to five years. Other bills aim to criminalize the possession of large gambling devices and establish an intergovernmental task force to eradicate illegal gambling and drug activities.

These measures aim to eradicate the 7,000 illegal gambling venues that currently operate in Hawaii.
Finally, Senate Bill 935, introduced by Senator Stanley Chang, would ban advertising by Nevada hotels and resorts that promote gambling and impose a tax of 30% on the gross income earned by individuals in Hawaii who arrange or sell vacation packages that include gambling activities.

The bill cites a 2011 estimate that Boyd Gaming, a Nevada-based company, made $600 million from Hawaii residents, and states that gambling prohibition costs Hawaii $1 billion in outgoing dollars annually.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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