Hawaii considers lifting total ban on gambling

Hawaii considers lifting total ban on gambling

Friday, January 29, 2016 Totally Gaming
New bills could legalise lottery and daily fantasy sports contests in the US state

Bills that could legalise and regulate the lottery and daily fantasy sports (DFS) sectors have been introduced in Hawaii, one of just two US states that currently bans all forms of gambling.

Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin this week joined his counterparts in five other states, including New York and Texas, in issuing an official opinion which stated that DFS constitutes illegal gambling

However, at the start of the 2016 session, state legislators have put forward a bill in both the House and Senate that would legalise online DFS contests, with operators to pay an annual $25,000 (€22,800) registration fee and rules established against insider gambling.

John Mizuno, the representative who co-introduced the bill, told the Associated Press news agency: “We’re all realists here; people gamble everywhere. So if we can regulate it properly and benefit from it — get some of the proceeds to help our most needy — then at the end of the day it’s a win-win.”

Another bill issued by Mizuno, vice-speaker of the Hawaii House of Representatives, this month would also create a state lottery to help benefit Hawaii’s homeless community. Currently Hawaii and Utah are the only states in which no gambling is permitted.

Meanwhile, Florida has edged closer to legalising the sector after two bills that would make such games legal in the state were approved by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee and House Finance and Tax Committee.

Bills SB 832 and HB 707 were amended to require DFS operators that offer cash prizes to more than 750 players to pay $500,000 each in order to register with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and comply with rules to ban children from taking part.

The bills must pass one more committee before they are put to a full House vote in the state.

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