Senators debate gambling definition

Hawaii, Utah only states to ban all forms of gambling

Published  8:15 AM HST Apr 03, 2013
HONOLULU -

Hawaii lawmakers are debating amending the state's anti-gambling law to clarify that it's illegal to sell goods or services that entitle people to play gambling machines.

The Senate judiciary committee met Tuesday to debate the bill and plans to vote Wednesday.

The committee is considering revising the bill to exempt bona fide business game promotions.

The Hawaii Bankers Association supports the exemption, saying it's common for banks to hold promotional contests.

But organizations such as the Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling oppose the exemption.

The group represents dozens of organizations including the Honolulu Police Department and several faith-based groups.

The coalition says the proposed exemption would exclude sweepstakes machines that are the subject of an ongoing lawsuit.

Hawaii is the only state besides Utah that bans all forms of gambling.

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