The effort to allow gambling on Oahu — and lift Hawaii’s ban on legal gaming — is dead following a hearing today.
State Sen. Maile Shimabukuro, chairwoman of the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee, deferred Senate Bill 1321 “indefinitely” today.
The bill had been rewritten to give the Home Lands Commission five years to figure out whether it wanted to permit any form of gambling on Department of Hawaiian Home Lands property west of Ko Olina — whether it be a casino, lottery, bingo or even horse racing.
DHHL originally proposed to build a casino resort in order to generate millions of dollars to help clear the backlog of more than 28,000 beneficiaries waiting for homes and land.
There was no discussion and no vote in the Senate Hawaiian Affairs Committee hearing, which lasted less than two minutes.
But Shimabukuro’s deferral of SB 1321 hinted at the division among Home Lands beneficiaries and the commission itself, which voted 5 to 4 in December to forward the idea to the state Legislature.
“At this point in time it appears that there’s just not enough support and there just needs to be more discussion had for SB 1321.”