A recently introduced Hawaii gambling bill would keep the island from turning into a mini Las Vegas by eliminating all advertising.
The bill, Senate Bill 935, authored by Sen. Stanley Chang (D), proposes a ban on Nevada gaming companies from advertising in Hawaii and fines for violators of the law.
No ad space available in Hawaii for Nevada, or else
According to the bill:
“Prohibits advertisements for Nevada hotels, resorts, or other recreational services that promote casinos or gambling devices licensed by the Nevada Gaming Commission from being broadcast, televised, marketed in printed publications or displays, distributed online, or otherwise communicated by electronic means within the state.”
But wait, there’s more. The bill would also institute a general excise tax on companies advertising casino-related vacation packages and gaming devices in Hawaii.
“Imposes a general excise tax on persons engaged in the arrangement, provision, or sale within the state of vacation packages or other recreational services that promote gambling or gambling devices that is not prohibited by state law of thirty percent of gross income due to that activity.”
Ban on advertising is no surprise
The state’s attempt to ban Nevada-style advertising from the island is no surprise. The ban is in line with similar legislation to keep big-name sports betting operators out of Hawaii.
Earlier this month, House Vice Speaker John Mizuno introduced a gaming bill to expand gambling in the state. The bill would legalize retail sports betting and poker games.
However, the Sports Gaming Bill states that Hawaii would prohibit industry heavy-weights like DraftKings and FanDuel from obtaining a gaming license. At the time, Mizuno said: “We don’t want a mainland corporation coming in and just taking all the money.”
For now, both bills face uphill climbs. Hawaii is one of two states — Utah is the other — with no forms of legal, regulated gambling. All previous efforts to expand gambling in the state have failed.