It doesn’t have a hearing scheduled yet, but there is a bill to allow lotteries in Hawaii.

It was introduced last Friday by Joe Souki, the speaker of the House of Representatives, who said recently that a lottery for the state is a distinct possibility.

House Bill 1830 authorizes the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to license a single operator for a lottery, including keno.

Speaker Joe Souki.
Speaker Joe Souki. Cory Lum/Civil Beat

A lottery, according to the legislation, would benefit people in this way:

  • enhancing their opportunity for educational advancement;
  • relieving or protecting them from disease, suffering, or distress;
  • contributing to their physical well-being;
  • assisting them in establishing themselves in life as worthy and useful citizens;
  • providing them with opportunities to contribute to the betterment of the community; or
  • increasing their comprehension of and devotion to the principles upon which this nation was founded.

The revenue, meanwhile, could be used for these purposes:

  • initiating, performing, or fostering worthy public works or enabling or furthering the erection or maintenance of public structures;
  • lessening the burdens borne by government or voluntarily supporting, augmenting, or supplementing services that government would normally render to the people; or
  • providing tax relief for the community.

It’s a very detailed proposal, suggesting that the idea has support.

The bill’s backers include Vice Speaker John Mizuno and Finance Chair Sylvia Luke.

Mizuno said Sen. Will Espero plans to introduce a similar measure on the other side of the Capitol



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