Whenever we talk about legalizing sports betting in the US, our focus tends to stick to the continental US. But across the Ocean, Hawaii has been trying to legalize wagering over the past few years. Many wonder if we will see a legal sportsbook market in Hawaii soon. Having one will not only make sports betting accessible to residents, but can also boost tourism in the Aloha state and help the local economy. Let us take a look at Hawaii in our latest Gambling Insider news.
Hawaii is one of the two states in the country that does not offer any form of gaming. But Rep. John Mizuno (D), aims to change that with House Bill 344. HB 344 aims to legalize retail a retail sportsbook as well as a card room in establishments in Oahu Island. The bill also aims to legalize online sports betting in the state.
A Legal Sportsbook Market in Hawaii Rests on Current Bill
When monitoring sports betting trends, you look at a lot of things: what people bet on, as well as where and when they place their wagers. HB 344 is great because it looks at retail betting as well as online sports betting. Online wagering takes up a large majority of sports betting across the country, so its only logical that the bill include this.
If you look at the history of gambling in the state, this is perhaps the seventh bill that introduces the industry to the state. This bill, however, is steering clear of certain terms that were points of contention in the past, such as slots, casinos, license fees, regulations and tax rate for online wagering. While everything is easy to arrange in any sportsbook pay per head, legislators will need to either be very specific, or purposely vague to pass the bill.
The state could stand to earn from legalizing sports betting in the state. Hawaii residents travel to states like Nevada to gamble and bet on sports, contributing around half a billion dollars each year on sports betting. If the state can help generate that on a local level, they can collect taxes and use it to fund social programs. We’ll see how the bill progresses over the next few months to know if we will finally start seeing sportsbooks in Hawaii in the near future.