The state of Hawaii is in dire need of new revenue streams to invest in the state of hawaii sponsored programs. Now, two state senators have responded with two bills that are to legalise gambling in Hawaii. A legalised gambling industry will allow the state to get taxes on gambling operators that will boost hawaii coffers.
Maui Senator Gilbert Keith-Agaran proposed the 2 bills—Senate Bill 850 and 2669—with Kona Senator Dru Kanuha as his co-sponsor. SB 850 is often a holdover in the 2019 legislative agenda. The bills are essentially identical inside their aims: if passed, they might produce the Hawaii Lottery and Gaming Corporation (HLGC) as a means of supervising the state’s gambling industry.
Permitted games under the bills include free-to-play games, betting on games of chance, like cards plus a state lottery along with sweepstakes presented in other states to entice website visitors to Hawaii.
Furthermore, around two gaming events may be staged annually to increase tourism rates.
Sen. Kanuha hailed the bills as being a monumental step toward an authentic framework for legalised gambling in hawaii. According to Sen. Keith-Agaran, the invoices represent an appointment for a more substantial conversation about the needs of Hawaii, and just how legalised gambling can serve as a potential solution.
Social Programs in Need of Funding
Hawaii and Utah include the only two states that ban all kinds of gambling. The rest of the U.S. has some sort of legal gambling option available, including lotteries and charitable games. Sen. Keith-Agaran noted the proposed legalisation of gambling in Hawaii would simply permit the government to capitalise by using an already-existing industry, pointing to the use of direct flights to Las Vegas on all of their islands.
While Sen. Keith-Agaran admitted that gambling can cause societal harms, he stated that the state of hawaii’s social programs for example healthcare services in rural, hard-to-reach areas—are in desperate need for financing; legalised gambling offers a method of providing that support without increases taxes, he was quoted saying.
Gambling Revenue Will Be Allocated to State Programs
If the HLGC is made, its mandate is always to manage the gambling industry properly and be sure how the revenue it collects will be allocated to Hawaii’s necessary programs. The proposal wants 25% coming from all proceeds should go on their Department of Education (DOE) shortfalls, 20% for DOE capital improvements, and 20% for capital improvements to the University of Hawaii.
Additionally, 10% should go to funds for medical students who pledge to apply in-state for ten years, 10% should go on the UH John A. Burns School of Medicine family practice rural residency program, and 15% will go to administration costs, gambling treatment programs, and watershed protection.