By Wendy Osher
A bill that would legalize bingo on Hawaiian Homelands has passed out of the House Committee on Hawaiian Affairs. House Bill 1225 seeks to amend the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1920 to allow bingo conduced by a single licensee at a single location.
Rep. Mele Carroll of Maui introduced the measure as a way to establish an additional revenue source for the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Trust and the State General Fund.
“The state’s fiduciary responsibility to provide adequate funding to the DHHL Trust as required in the Hawaii State Constitution, Article VII, Section I, can finally be realized should Bingo be allowed in Hawai’i,” said Rep. Carroll.
Under the proposed legislation, 20% of general excise tax on gross receipts would go to the state’s general fund, 1% would go towards a compulsive gambler program, 4% would be allocated for administrative expenses, and the balance would be deposited into the Hawaiian home lands trust fund.
Under the bill, the location of the bingo activity would be designated by the Hawaiian Homes Commission and a separate Hawaii Bingo Commission would be created within the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs to regulate bingo activity.
The bill now advances to the House Judiciary Committee for further consideration.