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Hawaii to Reconsider Internet Poker

State Looking to Capitalize on December DOJ Legal Clarification


HonoluluIn the wake of last month’s pivotal Department of Justice reversal on its interpretation of the 1961 Interstate Wire Act, the Hawaii legislature is set to consider three bills that would establish both live and online gaming in the jurisdiction.

According to the Honolulu Civil Beat, the first bill would establish a lottery in the state. A separate measure would allow the lottery to run Internet gaming, including poker. The third proposal would establish brick-and-mortar gaming.

Hawaii and Utah are the only states without legalized gambling.

The letter released by the DOJ right before Christmas was in response to New York and Illinois seeking to use the web to sell lottery tickets. With the Wire Act now applying to only sports betting, all other forms of Internet gaming appear to be permissible at the state level.

Many top gaming attorneys also feel that the door has been cracked open for possible state partnerships, but a federal bill would make everything clear.

The fight in the Pacific won’t be easy. This past spring, a bill for online poker lost traction and eventually sank in the legislature.

Click here for a full recap of where other states stand on moving toward online gaming.