Democrats in the Hawaiian legislature have introduced a bill which would establish a state body responsible for both regulating and offering gambling activities.
Under the current law, Hawaii is one of two states in the US which have no forms of legalized gambling at all. This includes casinos, sports betting, bingo operations and lotteries.
The proposed bill would seek to change this by establishing the Hawaiian Lottery and Gaming Corporation, which would be charged with the conduct and regulation of gaming operations, including poker and casino games.
However, the law specifically states that this would not extend to sports betting.
According to the bill text, one important purpose of the regulatory body would be to attract tourists to the state. As such, it would be charged with offering free-to-play and sweepstake games to those located outside the state – and would be authorized to offer multi state games in support of this objective.
If the bill is passed, then a seven-member board of directors will be picked by the governor, the president of the Senate and the speaker of the state House.
These directors will then have the duty of picking a chief executive, who will be charged with the day-to-day operations and management of the corporation.
Additionally, the board will have 180 days from being appointed to adopt the rules of policies governing the body’s gaming activities.
Whether the bill will be successful is uncertain. In the 2022 January legislative session, five bills were tabled that would seek to regulate gambling activities, with none ultimately proving successful.