Committee Approves Gambling Expansion In Hawaii

February 11th, 2011 – by Glen Farmer

Despite being a major tourist destination, completely reliant on visitors to the state, Hawaii has never had any legal forms of gambling incorporated into the state. Legislators are working on changing this, however, as gambling expansion legislation is pushing its way through the process.

Hawaii’s House Economic Revitalization and Business Committee passed a preliminary vote on Thursday to sustain the bill. A vote of 10-1 passed the offshore gambling bill, which still has a long road to travel before it can actually be signed into law. Two more committees in the House, a vote in the full House, and the Senate must all approve the bill before Governor Neil Abercrombie will have a chance to approve or veto the law.

Under the current rendition of the gambling expansion legislation, a board would be created to establish rules, maintain the rules, and manage a limited form of offshore gambling. What types of gambling would be available has not yet been established by the legislation.

No more than two ships would be established, and they would be required to sail with a minimum of 1,000 passengers. With just over 1 million residents, it should not be difficult for the boats to fill their cabins.

Should the legislation pass, Hawaii will leave Utah as the only state in the U.S. without some form of legalized, authorized gambling.

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