Traditionally, Hawaii is one of the few states that so far hasn’t allowed any form of gambling. However, a new bill just introduced into the states legislature aims to change that by allowing poker to be played on the island state – both live and online.
The bill will only allow for Texas Hold’em and Omaha poker games by redefining them as games of skill.
Games played against a computer would still be deemed illegal.
Online play would bring in millions each year in tax revenue by keeping local players from playing on offshore sites.
Live large tournaments would possibly attract new visitors to Hawaii, who otherwise might not be travelling to the island.
According to the bill, Internet poker sites would be charged $100 million or more to locate servers in Hawaii, and there would be a 20% tax on revenues. In addition, it is unclear if Hawaii would even be able to attempt to host interstate poker games – something the federal government would certainly fight.
So far, however, the bill has had no problem passing its first tests. It passed 7-1 in the Economic Revitalization and Business Committee, while the House Judiciary Committee passed it by a 9-3 vote.