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Hawaii to discuss gambling opportunities despite skepticism

The Hawaiian Home Lands Department and lawmakers meet to discuss the possibility of introducing casinos and gambling in the state. Hawaii is one of two states that are completely against gambling.

After all, Hawaii wants to talk about gambling

While Hawaii is struggling to pay the public bill and facing a growing budget deficit, state lawmakers are gearing up for a serious discussion about allowing the island's first gambling business to spur tourism, attract new audiences and fill the deficit gap.

Hawaii is historically a place where gambling is completely prohibited. There is only one other state that does this - Utah. Opposition to the potential legalization of gambling on the island is strong, and is also opposed by state governor David Ige.

In fact, all of the state's leading political figures, including Senate President Ron Kouchi and House President Scott Saiki, are equally adamant in their opposition to legalizing gambling.

However, it was Saiki who introduced HB 359, a bill that addresses whether the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands should be allowed to run a casino on land owned by the department, which is clearly supported by DHHL.

He was not the only one to ask this question as more legislators, including Senator Jarrett Keohokalole, also filed similar petitions, with the possibility of expanding the Hawaii casino overnight.

Neither Keohokalole nor Saiki support gambling, but both appear to be confident in gaining opinions to come to an objective conclusion that is not based on bias. As Keohokalole put it, the state should discuss whether gaming is good politics.

Residents of Hawaii frequently fly to Las Vegas, and stories of highly successful Nevada natives are numerous.

The DHHL proposal remains a contentious topic

If DHHL's proposal is clear, it means that not only casinos will open in Hawaii, but also establishments that sell alcohol 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, as well as a golf course, aquariums, sports events and various amusement parks.

In a way, DHHL would try to emulate casino resorts built around the world, and especially in Asia, that seek to attract a wide variety of tourists and business classes looking to take a break from their busy lives.

If such a project were successful, it would generate huge tax revenues for the state's Home Lands program and help bolster weak finances. The Hawaiian Home Lands program is important and aims to return the indigenous Hawaiians to their homeland by encouraging various initiatives.

Many people have been on the waiting list for decades, and to fully implement the project, DHHL needs funding - around $ 6 billion is enough to cover the infrastructure, let alone sustainability. DHHL sees casino games as a potential opportunity to speed up this process.

The department is also not playing well by proposing the 45% betting tax upfront, one of the highest proposed taxes in the United States where gambling is legal.

Lots of gambling bills to watch out for

Currently, many laws have been introduced. Many of them focus on creating the state lottery, which is seen as the most innocuous form of gambling entertainment. In particular, SB 853, SB 561, and HB 363 should ensure that the State Lottery strengthens the University of Hawaii.

Another possible bill is HB 457, which studies many gambling industries including offshore venues that can be set up to target gambling outside the most populated areas when needed and allow Hawaii to maintain an authentic tourist destination while serving tourists who love to gamble in it. same time.

Moreover, there is the HB 772 that wants to create a Las Vegas casino directly on top of the Hawai'i Convention Center, which is supported by a representative of John Mizuno, vice-chairman, and wants to turn this potential project into a tourist magnet.

According to what Mizuno sees, there will be a fee, and if any of the locals wanted to play, they would also have to pay a fee and stay in the designated area. While no particular project is likely to see progress this year, it is clear that Hawaii is starting to reconsider its opposition to gambling.

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