A new online casino bill has been proposed by Hawaii Senator Will Espero in a bid to bring some form of legalization and regulation to gambling to the remote island state. Many industry experts believe this is long overdue since Hawaii and Utah are the only remaining states without any form of regulated gambling. Hawaii is one of only six states in the U.S. that fail to offer residents a lottery. Sen. Espero recently introduced SB.677 that addresses the issue of legalizing online gambling. He claims that a significant number of residents in Hawaii resort to illegal gambling or risk their money in unregulated offshore casinos when the state could potentially earn tens of millions of dollars if it were to introduce some form of regulated gambling.
The senator’s bill proposes to create the Hawaii Internet Lottery and Gaming Corporation to regulate gambling and protect consumers, as well as ensure that the state benefits from revenue. SB.677 is a 28-page bill in which Sen. Espero proposes to legalize online casino gambling, poker, and lottery games. The state will also look at entering poker compacts with other states, just like Delaware and New Jersey who have started sharing player pools. Sports betting is not a part of the bill.
SB.677 also proposes the introduction of gambling events to be held in brick and mortar establishments under the supervision of the Internet Lottery and Gaming Corporation at least twice a year, which is obviously aimed at targeting tourists.