New Legislation Could Bring A Casino And Lottery To Hawaii

The US is currently home to two markets that serve as gambling deserts. No, not the Las Vegas “gambling is allowed here” desert, but the type that completely prohibits gambling in any format. Hawaii and Utah are the country’s two biggest holdouts when it comes to gambling, whether it’s online or at a casino. A few bills in Hawaii’s state legislature may change that in the near future. 

The Aloha State has a few lawmakers pushing to bring legal gambling to the state. Here’s a round-up of the bills:

First Up: Hawaii’s Possible Lottery

Each bill has some key stipulations that would mold Hawaii’s gambling landscape into a strictly regulated market. This isn’t much of a surprise; the jump from no gambling whatsoever to a lottery and casino is a lot for a state to take on. 

SB561 and HB 363 would establish the “Hawaii lottery and gaming corporation for the purpose of conducting gambling in Hawaii.” All proceeds from the lottery would go to improvements for Hawaii’s public schools. 

Although sports betting is completely absent from these measures, it stands to reason that the Hawaii Lottery could become the governing body for retail and online sportsbooks if the state legalizes that form of gambling in the future. 

SB853 would create an actual state lottery, allowing players to participate in Mega Millions and PowerBall drawings. The bill includes no other games at this point, meaning Hawaii lottery players would be limited to just those two draw games. 

Casino On The Horizon?

Finally, HB 359 and SB1321 would allow for the construction of one integrated casino resort. This portion of Hawaii’s legislative move toward legal gambling is particularly interesting for two reasons. First, the state is already a massive tourist destination, and a casino could serve as an added lure for travelers. Second, the fact that only one casino will be allowed creates an ideal market for the Hawaiian government to accept bids on the project. That could bring extra revenue to the state and give the project winner a rather large foothold in a brand new market. 

About the Author

Cole Rush

Cole Rush is a Chicago-based freelance writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Prior to freelance writing, Cole spent seven years in communications at a gambling and lottery supplier. Cole writes for a number of online and print publications, including The Quill To Live, a book review site.