Hawaii Sports betting is at stake.
This week there were several gambling bills during one House Economic Development Committee Meeting, with plenty of vocal opposition.
While HB 736 Has been postponed, committee chairman MP Sean Quinlan supports the bill proposing a pilot sports betting program in Hawaii.
"I'm more comfortable with [about the other game bills]," Quinlan said. "It's something we really need to look at. With the ubiquity of cell phones, I'd love to see the state get its fair share."
Hawaii Sports Betting Pilot Program
If approved, the invoice would require the D.Department of Economy, Development and Tourism Develop a pilot program for the state to monitor sports betting.
The program would allow the state to license companies to operate mobile betting in the islands. The program would cease to exist 2025.
DraftKings Government Affairs Manager Rebecca London spoke out in favor of the bill. London quotes American Gaming Association There are estimates 276,000 Hawaiians set up illegally $ 669 million yearly.
Objections to HI sports betting
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tricia Nakamatsu spoke out against the bill on behalf of the Honolulu District AttorneyOffice.
Nakamatsu said various studies found that legalized gambling was associated with increased crime rates, including domestic violence. Hawaii already has social gambling that legalized wagering in settings like office pools.
"Once you open this Pandora's box to legalized commercial gambling, the evidence is very clear [crime] is going to be much worse," Nakamatsu said.
Lack of enforcement?
Between London's allegations of illegal wagering activity in the islands and Nakamatsu's problems with gambling-related crimes assessed, agents had questions.
Quinlan and Richard Onishi MP Nakamatsu asked what type of illegal gambling enforcement existed in Hawaii.
Nakamatsu had no answer and said she would investigate further. She also finds that the AGA estimates are too high.
Other Hawaii gambling bills have been put on hold
The committee postponed two more bills related to gambling on Wednesday:
HB 383 – create a state poker commission.
HB 772 – Grant a 10-year standalone casino license to Waikiki members only.
The same committee was postponed indefinitely HB 359 last week. This bill suggests a resort casino that benefits from that Hawaiian Home Countries Department.
SB 595 proposes a sports betting task force and is currently represented on several Senate committees.