Hawaii’s Sports Betting Bill Would Include an Astonishing 55 Percent Tax Rate
Hawaii’s Sports Betting Bill Includes a Very High Tax Rate
When people think of the state, sports betting isn’t the first thing that comes to mind, but things may change. State Rep. John Mizuno, the vice-speaker of the House for the 50th state, introduced House Bill 1815, as an effort to legalize sports betting in the state.
He formally introduced two bills on Monday, but the bill shows that the tax rate will be higher than New York if it is passed. Hawaii is home to the 40th most populous state in the country, which is home to approximately 1.4 million people.
Part of the bill states, “Section 15 not-so-plainly reads: “Sports wagering tax: There shall be levied, assessed, and collected a tax of fifty-five percent on all winnings paid out to any person by a sports wagering provider. The tax revenues shall be deposited into the sports wagering special fund.”
Some have questioned if the tax rate’s primary focus will be on the bettors or the sportsbook operators that will have the opportunity to enter the state. Mizuno reiterated that the high tax rate would be for the operators and not the consumers. The tax rate will be higher when compared to New York’s rate, which is slated at 51 percent.
Mizuno stated that the language may be unclear at the moment but may be subject to change. The bill would also help establish a lottery or state corporation to monitor the sports betting market with rules and regulations if the operation does begin.
The other bill, known as House Bill 1820, calls for one gaming facility in Waikiki to establish a casino control commission in the Aloha State. If this is the case, retail sports betting may be available via a hotel. Both bills passed the first reading and will need enough support to move on to the following stages.
Will Sports Betting Help the State’s Economy Moving Forward?
Under Mizuno’s sports betting proposal, the state would create an online sports wagering corporation that would be housed in the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. The corporation would have power over the sportsbook operators that would conduct business in the state.
Online providers will be chosen based on their level of expertise with the gambling laws in the industry and the technology the companies offer. The draft of the bill doesn’t state the operator’s licensing fees but should be included when the sports betting momentum picks up.
State Rep. Chris Todd reintroduced his version of the sports betting bill known as House Bill 736. “This bill would certainly apply to app-based gaming, but could potentially apply to a brick and mortar location under certain circumstances.”
That version of the bill would include a $30 million licensing fee for operators. The pilot program would allow up to five operators to launch its products in the state.