Chairperson Hee, Vice Chair Shimabukuro and Committee Members:
The League of Women Voters supports HB343, HD2. This bill effectively clarifies the definition of sweepstakes gambling.
Many incidents across the state have demonstrated the willingness of vendors to circumvent the law, a law which clearly indicates that any form of gambling is illegal in Hawai`i. The resulting situation creates a challenge for law enforcement and an enticement to the public, particularly to young people, to engage in illegal activity. HB343, HD2 addresses these problems.
At the same time, the League of Women Voters opposes HB343, HD2, SD1. The description of HB343 reads: Amends a definition in the gambling law to provide that gambling activities offered incident to the purchase of goods or devices or any entries, credits, or play points that extend or permit the privilege of playing a game of chance without charge, constitute gambling. The proposed SD1 provides a loophole which negates the effects of HD2. In effect, SD1 contradicts the intent of HB343 by presenting an exception for certain types of sweepstakes gambling claiming to be bona fide business promotions. There should be no exceptions.
If HB343, HD2,SD1 goes into effect, law enforcement will face even greater challenges, and Hawai`i will see the proliferation of illegal sweepstake operations.
We urge you to support HB343, HD2, and vote against HB343,HD2,SD1.
Thank you for taking my testimony.