Hawaii sports betting remained a topic of conversation in 2021, but nothing concrete gained any real traction among state lawmakers. Hawaii joins Utah as one of two states that prohibits gambling of any kind.
Entering 2022, there is a new attempt to change the laws concerning legal sports betting.Jump to
A new sports betting bill was recently introduced as part of the 2022 Hawaii legislative session, but it’s unclear how much support is there. The US sports betting industry continues to grow, but expanding all the way to Hawaii seems like a bit of a stretch.
House Bill1815 is backed by Rep. John Mizunu. It closely mirrors the same bill that paved the way for legal online sports betting in New York. Case in point is the hefty 55% tax on sports betting revenue. If passed, this would create the highest tax rate on sports betting revenue in the country.
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Hawaii online sports betting will likely be the only option, especially since there aren’t any commercial or tribal casinos in the state. The current system would create an issue as far as offering any kind of retail sportsbooks in the state.
By allowing HI online sports betting, the state could attract online sportsbook operators and the industry would be in a position to launch very quickly.
HI Sports Betting Rules
Since lawmakers in Hawaii are still in the very early stages of exploring sports betting, there have not been any rules created at this time. HI sports betting will likely follow the same general rules that are outlined for other states.
A big question will be around collegiate sporting events and whether or not they will be available. Hawaii does not have any strong college programs but allowing collegiate betting does add more betting handle and revenue.
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HI Sports Betting Regulations
Lawmakers in the state attempted to legalize HI sports betting in both 2019 and 2020, but those bills did not advance very far. A third attempt was been made in 2021 back by slightly stronger support this time around.
SB 595 proposed to create a sports betting task force that would study the growing industry before an official proposal was made. HB 1815 would create on online sports wagering corporation. It would fall under the supervision of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.
This corporation would regulate and “exercise active oversite” over online sportsbook operators. As part of this proposal, there could be up to five online sports betting operators in the state.
There has been some recent momentum surrounding Hawaii sports betting, but this is most likely a one or two year process. HB 1815 is a step in the right direction. Although there could be some push back on the proposed 55% tax rate and $30 million in licensing fees.
Hawaii is a state that is looking for new sources of revenue and sports betting could definitely provide a boost. It would be likely that HI online sports betting is the only realistic option in light of the fact that the state does not have any other form of gambling.
It’s unclear if HI sports betting will ever become a reality, but there have been enough recent activity to make it seem like a possibility.