Hawaii could legalise DFS, lotteries as bill put forward

29 January 2016

Hawaii is to consider restructuring its strict gambling ban after several bills were introduced in an effort to legalise daily fantasy sports (DFS) and lottery games in the US state.

Although Hawaii is one of two states, along with Utah, that does not currently offer any form of legalised gambling, state legislators have put forward a bill in both the House and Senate that would legalise online DFS contests.

According to the Associated Press news agency, the bill would require DFS firms that offer cash prizes to register with the state and be subject to an independent audit on a yearly basis.

DFS sites would be off-limits to minors, with rules established against insider gambling, while each website would be required to pay an annual $25,000 registration fee.

Democratic Representative John Mizuno, who co-introduced the bill, said: “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.”

This year, lawmakers in both houses introduced a number of bills in an effort to legalise some form of gambling, including one measure that would start a state lottery to help benefit Hawaii’s homeless community.

“The Powerball created a lot of interest, and the timing was impeccable — it happened right before the start of the legislative session,” Mizuno said.

“Everything collided to have the perfect opportunity to bring this issue up.”

Related article: Florida House, Senate approves daily fantasy sports bills