Hawaii lawmakers introduce sports betting bill

Lawmakers in the state of Hawaii have introduced a piece of legislation that would legalize sports betting in the state.

The bill titled HB 1107, was filed on Wednesday and would create a new regulatory body, the Hawaii Sports Wagering Corporation.

Text from the bill says: “tens of thousands of Hawaii residents are estimated to participate in illegal online sports gambling on unregulated internet websites. These gambling websites are operated by illegal offshore operators not subject to regulation or taxation in the United States.

“Questions often arise about the honesty and the fairness of the games offered to Hawaii residents, but neither federal nor Hawaii laws currently provide any consumer protections for Hawaii residents who play on these websites. Moreover, tens of millions of dollars in revenues generated from online gambling are being realized by offshore operators serving Hawaii residents, but no benefits are provided to the State.”

Under this bill, the new body would be responsible for regulating and operating the entire Hawaii sports betting industry.

If the bill is successful, state regulators will have 180 days from the day the bill is passed to select a vendor to supply the sports betting infrastructure for the entire state.

The system proposed shares similarities with the sports betting systems in place in Delaware and Rhode Island.

The Hawaii regulatory would be responsible for choosing how sports betting would be implemented. This includes what types of wagers could be placed and how residents could place bets.

In terms of revenue, the sports betting supplier would receive a share of sports betting revenue while the rest would be allocated to the state.

This is the first step Hawaii has taken towards legalizing sports betting since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) las year. On top of this Hawaii has no forms of legal gambling.

The only other state in the US with no form of gambling is Utah.

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