Hawaii Online Poker Law
If a group of Hawaiian senators have their way, soon online poker players in Hawaii will be typing the word “Pomaika'I” to their opponents at the start of a game. That is, if they have the courtesy to wish them “Good Luck.”
Yes, Hawaii is a pleasant surprise to those wishing for a healthy and large online poker scene in the United States. There are a group of Hawaiian senators who seem to understand where the country is moving concerning online poker.
The senators, Gilbert Kahele, Donovan M. Dela Cruz, and Malama Solomon, say their goal is to protect the interests of the Hawaiian people. The bill, introduced in early 2013, reads: “It is in the best interest of the state and its citizens to regulate this existing activity by authorizing and implementing a secure, responsible, and legal system for Internet gambling.”
Strange from a state where no form of gambling is considered legal. It shows an extremely forward-thinking attitude from these three senators. The proposed bill called for proceeds to go to the University of Hawaii, public schools, loan repayments for medical students who practice in the state for 10 years, and reduction and prevention of problem gambling.
Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
Ultimately, people interested in the future of online poker who live in states like Montana, Idaho, and Oregon should keep a close eye on Hawaii. It may be the one state that prompts other states to join the intrastate network that many want so badly. No one equates Hawaii to poker, but they do equate it with chilling, relaxing, and living free doing what you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.
The proposed bill, which died in committee in May 2013, didn’t call for Hawaii to create its own online gambling infrastructure, but authorized it to contract with other online-poker-serving states (which currently include Nevada, Delaware, and, in the near future, New Jersey).
These senators see and acknowledge how the world’s attitude has changed concerning online poker and casino gambling. Be certain, lawmakers from states looking for additional revenue streams, and have populations that aren’t fundamentally opposed to allowing people to do what they want with their hard-earned dollars, will be observing how Hawaii proceeds in the future.
And as other states legalize online gambling, state legislators who failed to support the bill proposed in 2013 will certainly be forced to take another look with clear eyes.
When Will I Be Able to Play Online Poker in Hawaii?
Online poker and gambling is at least on the minds of state officials thanks to the senators who keep on proposing their online bills. But being only one of two states that prohibit all forms of gambling, it might not come before the next eruption of the Kilauea Volcano. If all goes right, online poker should be legal there by 2018.
How Many Potential Online Poker Players Live in Hawaii?
With only around 90,000 potential online poker customers, Hawaii would definitely have to partner with other states to share its players in order for online poker to be viable and healthy.