Hawaiian Dwelling Lands' gambling proposal dies in laws


  • CRAIG T. KOJIMA / [email protected]

    Efforts to build gambling facilities on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property on Oahu are dead today, according to a legislature hearing.

  • Courtesy photo
                                Mail Shimabukuro

    Courtesy photo

    Mail Shimabukuro

Efforts to allow gambling on Oahu – and lift Hawaii's ban on legal gambling – are dead according to a hearing today.

State Senator Maile Shimabukuro, chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs, put Senate Draft 1321 on hold today "for an indefinite period."

The bill was rewritten to give the Home Lands Commission five years to determine if they wanted to allow any form of gambling on the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property west of Ko Olina – be it a casino, a lottery, a lottery Bingo or even a horse race.

DHHL originally proposed building a casino resort to raise millions of dollars to clear the backlog of more than 28,000 beneficiaries waiting for homes and land.

There was no discussion or vote at the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee hearing, which lasted less than two minutes.

Shimabukuro's postponement of SB 1321, however, hinted at the split between the home country beneficiaries and the commission itself, which voted 5 to 4 in December to pass the idea on to state lawmakers.

"At this point there just doesn't seem to be enough support and there just needs to be more discussion for SB 1321."

For our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, click here. Submit your coronavirus news tip.