Beneficiary Consultations for Limited Gaming Legislation Scheduled
The Department of Hawaiian Homes Lands has scheduled two beneficiary consultation meetings following the Hawaiian Homes Commission’s decision this week to approve a draft legislative proposal to authorize limited gaming in the form of a single integrated resort property on Department lands designated for commercial use.
As a result of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, DHHL will host the virtual meetings through an online portal on Monday, Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. and on Tuesday, Jan. 19 at 12 p.m. Members of the Kapolei homestead communities will be briefed ahead of the statewide meeting.
The consultation meetings will be open to beneficiaries statewide and can be accessed by visiting dhhl.hawaii.gov/government-relations on the scheduled day and time.
HHC approved the proposed legislative measure in a 5-4 vote at its regularly scheduled December 2020 Commission meeting.
“We have heard the voices of our community and the desire to provide feedback on the bold, yet desperately needed legislation being proposed,” said HHC Chair William J. Ailā, Jr.
“We are at the point in the process now that we bring a Commission-approved proposal to our beneficiaries to engage in a meaningful way. The Department has already gone through extensive consultation regarding the land use designation for potential parcels being considered as part of this measure during island and regional planning efforts. Now, we are engaging with the community to express the need for a project such as this and relevant details. We ask that you come with the desire to engage in a way that benefits both our community and the trust,” said Ailā, Jr.
Opponents say the project shifts the focus away from creating homestead opportunities; while supporters say it provides an economic solution to create adequate funding for the department.
Supporters say revenues from the proposed initiative would be used to address DHHL’s “dire financial state” by ensuring the Department is the primary beneficiary of the gaming operation through a land lease agreement with the licensee and direct collection of a majority share of the proposed state tax on gross gaming revenue.
Beneficiaries can anticipate a postcard mailer in the coming weeks announcing the scheduled meetings.
To view the draft legislation, visit dhhl.hawaii.gov/government-relations.