Legalizing Gambling In Hawaii

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Legalizing Gambling In Hawaii

As of 2015, gambling was made legal in the majority of American states. However, Hawaii was still a holdout. In 2013 it was estimated that anywhere from 1% to 10% of Hawaii’s state gross from domestic products (which equaled approximately $70 billion) came from black market gambling.

In November of 2014, three men in Honolulu were caught after having spent three months running an illegal gambling house that made them $109,000. The gambling house was equipped with a baccarat table located in a back room and seven slot machines located in the main room.

Tourists and natives of Hawaii have had access to sports betting and cockfighting despite opposition from state officials. This has caused many to fight for the legalization of gambling throughout Hawaii. Several failed attempts have been made to pass Hawaii gambling laws. A lack of political willpower is to blame for the repeated failures to get gambling legalized. However, as 2016 is an election year that attitude may change. The previous attempt to legalize gambling in Hawaii was made in 2012 when a house bill was written that allowed for a casino located in Waikiki. A lack of votes due to 2012 being an election year resulted in the failure of the casino to operate within the law.

Those who are fighting to make gambling legal in Hawaii note that doing so would create not only jobs for residents of the state, but also would generate much needed tax revenue in addition to giving tourists an additional entertainment option.

Any hotels found in Hawaii that contain a casino would likely be renovated, creating jobs for many unemployed construction workers as well as creating more jobs in the hospitality industry. Another reason that some are encouraging the legalization of gambling in Hawaii is that local cruise lines would have more to offer their passengers and more international cruise lines would likely add Hawaii to their list of scheduled stops.

Other states have seen a dramatic increase in gaming revenue since they legalized gambling. In some cases, the increase was as high as $27 billion. As Hawaii could greatly benefit from the gaming revenue increased legalizing gambling would bring more stability to the state’s economy.

Hawaii’s Indian tribes are learning more about the possibility of state officials allowing residents to participate in the lotteries that residents of other states can already participate in. The signing of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1998 recognized three classes of gaming. Many tribal traditions and ceremonies involve gaming in some form. Members of these Indian tribes that bet on the outcome of an event such as canoe race are doing so within state law. This type of gambling is considered class one in Hawaii. Class two includes Bingo and other similar games while Class three includes slot machines and any other game typically found in a casino.

It is the hope of many that this can be used as a basis for making gambling in Hawaii legal.