Hawaii USA Opts Out of Legalizing Internet Poker for Now

Published Wednesday, April 13, 2011 - Online-Casinos.com

The exotic state of Hawaii USA has never been a gambling location so the news that online poker will not be introduced there comes as no real surprise. Officials of Hawaii and the House Finance Committee voted to leave the state with its non gambling status quo for at least another year the Associated Press reported recently.

Senate Bill 755 has failed to obtain a hearing by the House Finance Committee. The bill did manage to get passed by the Economic Revitalization and Business Committee by a 7-1 vote and the House Judiciary Committee with a large 9-3 positive vote, giving rise to speculation that Hawaii may indeed come around to making good on the potential revenue available with online poker legalization.
Poker has become a popular past time for millions of Americans and Hawaiian lawmakers were looking at getting in on the trend by introducing Senate Bill 755 which changed the staus of poker from a game of chance to a skill based activity.
As with New Jersey and Nevada this legislation sought to legalize Texas Hold’em and Omaha style poker. The new law would have allowed the state to host destination tournaments for poker tours such as the World Series of Poker and possibly boosting tourism for the Islands. It was thought that the Bill would have made Hawaii a hub for online poker rooms bringing in addition revenues from licensing fees and taxes.
Hawaii’s internet poker proposal would have set a fee of at least $100 million for server operations providing online poker. With little capital outlay the proposition looked like it could make money for the tropical paradise.

Detractors of the plan were adamant about the negative affects of gambling. Dianne Kay, president for the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, was quoted recently saying, “Legalized gambling would introduce an undesirable element to our islands, and would have a highly detrimental effect on the tourist industry.”

 

 

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