NEW INTERNET LOTTERY AND GAMING BILL IN HAWAII SENATE

Passes first reading, moves on to Government Operations Committee for a second.

It was about this time last year that Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin weighed in on the legality of daily fantasy sports, saying at the time that DFS contests constitute illegal online gambling under existing state laws.

This time around, a new bill SB677 was introduced late last week by Senator Michelle Kidani which proposes the formation of the Hawaii Internet Lottery and Gaming Corporation (HILGC) for the purpose of conducting internet gambling in Hawaii.

The bill allocates proceeds to capital improvements at public schools and the University of Hawaii system, scholarships and educational loan repayments for medical students who practice in Hawaii for ten years, support for the family practice rural residency program, watershed protection, and reduction and prevention of problem gambling.

The proposal seeks to combat “tens of thousands of Hawaii residents estimated to participate in illegal online gambling on unregulated internet web sites.  These gambling web sites are operated by illegal offshore operators not subject to regulation or taxation in the United States.”

The HILGC would be authorized :

–    to offer internet wagering on games of chance and games of skill, including lottery, poker and casino games to individuals over the age of eighteen, but may not offer sports betting;

–    to enter into agreements with other state gaming entities for multi state games, consistent with state and federal law;

–    to offer free-play games and sweepstakes with Hawaii related prizes to non-residents for the purpose of attracting tourists; and

–    to conduct no more than two land-based gaming entertainment events per year, related to the corporation’s internet game offerings to attract tourism.

SB677 received and passed its first reading in the Senate yesterday (Monday) and has now been referred to the Senate Government Operations Committee. 

The full text of the bill can be read here: https://legiscan.com/HI/text/SB677/2017