The Hawaiian Homes Commission approved the proposal, which will be presented to the Legislature

Hawaii’s first state-owned casino project moves forward

Deputy DHHL Chair Tyler Lokepa Gomes said the casino would rake in at least $30 million a year to help build homes for the nearly 29,000 Native Hawaiians on the waitlist.
2020-12-23
Reading time 1:31 min
The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands wants to build the casino and resort on its property in Kapolei that is already designated as commercial. The upcoming state Legislature would need to change state law to allow the project. The proposal calls for establishing a Hawaii Gaming Commission and State Gaming Fund.

The Hawaiian Homes Commission voted 5-to-4 Tuesday to move forward with a plan to build Hawaii’s first casino, which would generate revenue for Native Hawaiians programs.

The commission approved a draft bill that will be presented to the Legislature for consideration, HawaiiNewsNow reports. The state Attorney General’s Office and governor will review the bill to determine whether they support it. If not, the commission will need to seek legislative sponsors.

“We do have supporters in the senate and in the house, is it enough to get it to pass?" asked Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) Chair and Chairman of the Hawaiian Homes Commission, William J. Aila Jr. “I have no idea but we are never going to have the opportunity unless we move forward today.”

Deputy DHHL Chair Tyler Lokepa Gomes said the casino proposal is about helping the thousands of people on the waiting list for homes. “This bill is the single greatest opportunity that we have to put ourselves in the dominion of exercising economic self-sufficiency,” he said. Gomes disagreed with those who say gambling is inconsistent with Hawaii’s culture and said Hawaiians have always embraced games of skill and chance.

The department wants to build the casino and resort on Hawaiian Homelands property in Kapolei that is already designated as commercial. Gomes said the casino would rake in at least $30 million a year to help build homes for the nearly 29,000 Native Hawaiians on the waitlist.

DHHL commissioners just learned of the proposal days ago, and not everyone was on board.
Commissioners Randy Awo, David Kaaapu, Zachary Helm, and Patricia Teruya voted against the measure. The measure got support from Commissioners Michael Kaleikini, Russell Kaupu, Pauline Namuʻo, Dennis Neves, and Commission Chair William J. Aila.

The upcoming state Legislature would need to change state law to allow the project. The proposal calls for establishing a Hawaii Gaming Commission and State Gaming Fund.

During the commission meeting on Tuesday, dozens of people gathered outside of DHHL’s office in Kapolei to protest the proposed casino.

Leave your comment:
Subscribe to our newsletter
Enter your email to receive the latest news
By entering your email address, you agree to Yogonet's Condiciones de uso and Privacy Policies. You understand Yogonet may use your address to send updates and marketing emails. Use the Unsubscribe link in those emails to opt out at any time.
Unsubscribe
EVENTS CALENDAR