Hearings set for gambling bills: Casino legislation nevertheless alive; lotteries additionally proposed for Hawaii

In a 12 months where an downturn that is economic on by the coronavirus pandemic has the government scrambling for revenue, a pair of gambling-related bills — usually a nonstarter in the state Legislature — are scheduled for hearings.

House Bill 359, which would grant a gaming that is 40-year for a integrated resort and casino on a Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands parcel zoned for commercial used in Kapolei, Oahu, is going to be heard by the Economic developing Committee at 9:30 a.m. At the state capitol in Honolulu.


The today bill, the brainchild of Tyler Gomes, deputy Hawaiian Homes Commission chairman, was introduced by House Speaker Scott Saiki, an Oahu Democrat.

Gomes touts the legislation as a way for the department that is cash-strapped bolster its objective to place beneficiaries of 50% or maybe more Hawaiian bloodstream — lots of whom are on a wait list for decades — into homes.

The Controversial measure, which also would establish the Hawaiian Gaming Commission, would impose a 45% tax on gross gaming revenue and create a continuing state gaming fund.

The Bill also been referred to the homely house Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs Committee, chaired by Democrat Rep. Mark Nakashima of Hamakua, as well as the home Finance Committee.

A friend bill, Senate Bill 1321, has passed away its reading that is first and been scheduled for a hearing at 1 p.m. Feb. 11 by the Hawaiian Affairs Committee.

DHHL estimates the resort-casino combination would generate at least $30 million in revenue.

Opponents, including Gov. David Ige, have warned about the social ills casino that is accompanying, including increases in liquor and drug use, gambling addiction and prostitution.

Khara Jabola-Carolus, executive manager associated with Hawaii State Commission regarding the Status of females, recently posted a paper called “Gambling With Women’s protection: A Feminist Assessment of Proposed Resort-Casino.”

“Native Hawaiian, immigrant and impoverished females, LGBTQ people and kiddies staying in geographical proximity to your resort-casino are going to go through the most harm that is gambling such as problem gambling, domestic violence, child abuse, sexual assault and sex trafficking,” Jabola-Carolus wrote in the nine-page paper.

In addition, Sen. Mike Gabbard, an Oahu Democrat who represents the district in which DHHL plans to develop the casino, and Sen. Kurt Fevella, a representing that is republican Ewa Beach as well as the Senate minority frontrunner, oppose the proposition. Fevella led a band that is small of outside last month’s commission meeting.

Rep. Gene Ward, a Republican from East Honolulu, introduced HB 1396 in response to those companion measures. Ward’s bill would prohibit the operation and construction of casino video gaming and wagering on DHHL parcels.

Ward’s bill is known the Economic Development, Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs, and Finance committees, but hadn’t been planned for a hearing at the time of Thursday.

Another method of casino development is proposed in HB 772, introduced by Rep. John Mizuno, a Democrat whom represents Kalihi and Kamehameha Heights on Oahu.

Mizuno’s measure would give a license that is 10-year standalone, members-only casino in Waikiki, not attached to a hotel.

The bill, if passed, would allow guests 21 and over who register to stay a day and a night at an Oahu hotel to have a $ casino admission pass that is 20-per-day. It would impose a wagering income tax on gross receipts and produce a situation video gaming investment and gambler that is compulsive.

The bill has been referred to the Economic Development, Consumer Protection and Commerce, Judiciary and Hawaiian Affairs, and Finance committees, but hadn’t been scheduled for a hearing as of Thursday.

Meanwhile, Other bills introduced in the continuing state legislature would legalize lottery gambling.

The establishment of a Hawaii lottery and video gaming organization may be the focus of HB 363 as well as its friend measure, SB 561.

Proceeds from a lottery will be allotted to money improvements in public places schools as well as the University of Hawaii system and would, among other items, repay academic loans for medical pupils whom practice in Hawaii for a decade and offer the household training residence that is rural, watershed protection and gambling addiction prevention and reduction.

The House version was introduced by Saiki at the request of another ongoing celebration, even though the Senate variation ended up being introduced by Sens. Gilbert-Keith Agaran of Maui and Clarence of Nishihara of Leeward Oahu, both Democrats.

Both bills have obtained committee referrals, but neither have been planned for hearings at the time of Thursday.

SB 853, introduced by Democrat Sen. Dru Kanuha, whom represents Kona and Ka‘u, would produce a lottery unit in the Department of Budget and Finance to enter Hawaii within the powerball that is multi-state Mega Millions lottery games.

Lottery profits would be allocated to the fund that is general will be utilized to generate a lottery awards revolving fund.

Kanuha pointed to budget that is“historic because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” and added their bill would offer their state the chance, through Mega Millions and Powerball, “to fund improvements for the general public schools and programs during the University of Hawaii, along side watershed security and resources for the reduction and avoidance of issue gambling.”

“Improving the resources offered to our Hawaii Island community is definitely a priority of mine, and I also anticipate continuing the discussion about that measure during the Legislature,” he said.


Kanuha’s bill has also gotten committee referrals but hadn’t been planned for a hearing at the time of Thursday.(*)Email John Burnett at [email protected](*)

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