When COVID19 swept across the world, and the economic fall down left billions impacted, change was expected. In the US, states reeling under the heavy economic impact expected to put the focus on new things to make up, and gambling was one of them. Hawaii has traditionally been against casinos and gambling. But the state needs money with tourism has fallen apart in 2020.
The Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) has suggested a casino resort on Oahu Island. The DHHL raised concerns about the diminishing funds that they have. The future does not look bright as well. In a push for 2021, the DHHL is finding opportunities to fill the $6bn gap it has for adequate housing.
The agency is basically responsible for providing the housing needs of the native Hawaiians and with the current situation, it does not have the economic capacity to do it. The agency has now hinted at using the casino resort as a bold step to help the Hawaiian people with their needs.
It is one of the eight states in the US that has no tribal or commercial casino. Hawaii and Utah have zero gambling in the US and interestingly, Hawaii is the only state that does not even have Lottery.
The DHHL feels that it may be the time to introduce casinos into Hawaii. With the success of gambling in the world, it could be the right decision, DHHL believes. Also, legalizing gambling could potentially drive away from illegal activities.
The Hawaiian Home Commission needs to approve the concept of the Casino Resort in order to move forward. However, that is just the beginning. The Commission is going to vote on it in near future. If it passes, then the bill goes to Governor David Ige. Upon his approval, the bill goes to the House of Representatives and Senates of Hawaii, overwhelmingly controlled by the Democrats.
This isn’t going to be an easy road, but not only in terms of the process but also in terms of resistance towards gambling and casino. The DHHL needs to fight off the general conception of casino brings drugs and crime as well.