HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

772

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to casino gaming.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. Thirty years ago, Waikiki was the center of nightly entertainment in Hawaii. There were eight movie theater screens, multiple nightly live musical performances, a host of night clubs, and many other evening activities. Within the past few years, Waikiki has seen the movie theaters, musical performance venues, and night clubs all shut down, leaving Hawaii visitors with very few nighttime activities.

The legislature finds that a single casino in Waikiki will not only provide tourists with memorable nighttime activities, but will also stimulate the economy by creating hundreds of jobs and generating millions of dollars in revenue for the State. By comparison, other forms of gambling, such as lotteries, internet gambling, and non-casino electronic gambling, create few quality jobs and do not generate significant economic development in the State. Polls have shown that more than seventy per cent of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean visitors approve of a casino in Waikiki.

Other locations have found success with legalizing casino gambling. Within one year of the first casino opening in Singapore in 2010, tourism hit record levels, and Singapore's gaming market reached an estimated $2,800,000,000. Jurisdictions that have allowed casino gambling have not experienced a predicted increase in crime following the opening of casinos. Two decades after Connecticut opened casinos, the communities around the casinos have not experienced an increase in crime and found that crime decreased compared to the time period before the casino opened.

The legislature believes that allowing only hotel patrons to access the Waikiki casino will help to reduce the potential negative impacts of gambling on Hawaii residents, while creating high-paying jobs within the casino.

The legislature further rejects any argument that other entities may open a gaming casino in Hawaii pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which authorized the establishment of hundreds of Native American gaming operations. According to the National Indian Gaming Association, because there are no federally-recognized Native American nations indigenous to Hawaii, a Native American gaming operation would not be permissible in Hawaii under the Act.

The purpose of this Act to authorize the establishment of one casino in Waikiki, on the island of Oahu, and to limit access to that casino to individuals who are staying in hotels.

SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"CHAPTER

CASINO GAMING

-1 Limited casino gaming authorized. Casino gaming and a system of wagering incorporated therein, as defined in this chapter, are authorized only to the extent that casino gaming and wagering is conducted in accordance with this chapter.

-2 Definitions. As used in this chapter, unless the context clearly requires otherwise:

"Affiliate" means a person who, directly or indirectly, through one or more intermediaries:

(1) Controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with;

(2) Is in a partnership or joint venture relationship with; or

(3) Is a co-shareholder of a corporation, a co-member of a limited liability company, or a co-partner in a limited liability partnership with;

a person who holds or applies for a casino license under this chapter.

"Agent" means any person who is employed by any agency of the State, other than the commission, who is assigned to perform full-time services on behalf of or for the benefit of the commission, regardless of the title or position held by that person.

"Applicant" means any person who applies for a license under this chapter.

"Casino facility" means a freestanding, land-based structure that may include bars, restaurants, showrooms, theaters, or other facilities, but does not include any structure used for hotel or other transient accommodation lodging purposes.

"Casino gaming", "limited casino gaming", "game", or "gaming", as the context may require, means the operation of games conducted pursuant to this chapter in a licensed casino facility, including but not limited to baccarat, twenty-one, poker, craps, slot machine, video gaming of chance, roulette wheel, Klondike table, punch-board, faro layout, numbers ticket, push car, jar ticket, pull tab, or other game of chance that is authorized by the commission as a wagering device.

"Casino license" means a license to operate and maintain a casino facility for casino gaming permitted under this chapter.

"Chairperson" means the member of the Hawaii gaming control commission selected by the other members of the Hawaii gaming control commission.

"Commission" means the Hawaii gaming control commission.

"Department" means the department of business, economic development, and tourism.

"Executive director" means the executive director of the commission.

"Financial interest" or "financially interested" means any interest in investments, awarding of contracts, grants, loans, purchases, leases, sales, or similar matters under consideration or consummated by the commission or holding a one per cent or more ownership interest in an applicant or a licensee. For purposes of this definition, member, employee, or agent of the commission shall be considered to have a financial interest in a matter under consideration if any of the following circumstances exist:

(1) The individual owns one per cent or more of any class of outstanding securities that are issued by a party to the matter under consideration or consummated by the commission; or

(2) The individual is employed by or is an independent contractor for a party to the matter under consideration or consummated by the commission.

"Gross receipts":

(1) Means the total of:

(A) Cash received as winnings;

(B) Cash received in payment for credit extended by a licensee to a patron for purposes of gaming; and

(C) Compensation received for conducting any game in which the licensee is not party to a wager; and

(2) Does not include:

(A) Counterfeit money or tokens;

(B) Coins of other countries that are received in gaming devices;

(C) Cash taken in fraudulent acts perpetrated against a licensee for which the licensee is not reimbursed; and

(D) Cash received as entry fees for contests or tournaments in which patrons compete for prizes.

"Individual" means a natural person.

"Institutional investor" means:

(1) Any retirement fund administered by a public agency for the exclusive benefit of federal, state, or county public employees;

(2) An employee benefit plan, or pension fund that is subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended;

(3) An investment company registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (54 Stat. 789, 15 U.S.C. 80a-1 to 80a-3 and 80a-4 to 80a-64);

(4) A collective investment trust organized by a bank under title 12 Code of Federal Regulations section 9.18 of the rules of the United States Comptroller of the Currency;

(5) A closed end investment trust;

(6) A chartered or licensed life insurance company or property and casualty insurance company;

(7) A chartered or licensed financial institution;

(8) An investment advisor registered under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, (54 Stat. 847, 15 U.S.C. sections 80b-1 to 80b-21 as amended); and

(9) Any other person as the commission may determine for reasons consistent with this chapter.

"Investigative hearing" means any hearing conducted by the commission or its authorized representative to investigate and gather information or evidence regarding pending license applicants, qualifiers, licensees, or alleged or apparent violations of this chapter or rules adopted by the commission. An investigative hearing shall include any matter related to an apparent deficiency.

"Occupational license" means a license issued by the commission to a person or entity to perform an occupation relating to casino gaming in the State that the commission has identified as an occupation that requires a license.

"Person" means an individual, association, partnership, estate, trust, corporation, limited liability company, or other legal entity.

"Qualifier" means an affiliate, affiliated company, officer, director, or managerial employee of an applicant, or a person who holds greater than a five per cent direct or indirect interest in an applicant. As used in this definition, "affiliate" and "affiliated company" do not include a partnership, a joint venture relationship, a co-shareholder of a corporation, a co-member of a limited liability company, or a co-partner in a limited liability partnership that has a five per cent or less direct interest in the applicant and is not involved in the casino as defined in rules adopted by the commission.

"Supplier" means a person that the commission has identified under rules adopted by the commission as requiring a license to provide casino licensees with goods or services regarding the realty, construction, maintenance, or business of a proposed or existing casino facility on a regular or continuing basis, including junket enterprises, security businesses, manufacturers, distributors, persons who service gaming devices or equipment, garbage haulers, maintenance companies, food purveyors, and construction companies.

"Supplier's license" means a license that authorizes a supplier to furnish any equipment, devices, supplies, or services to a licensed casino facility permitted under this chapter.

-3 Hawaii gaming control commission. (a) There is established the Hawaii gaming control commission. The commission shall be a body corporate and a public instrumentality of the State for the purpose of implementing this chapter. The commission shall be placed within the department of business, economic development, and tourism for administrative purposes. The commission shall consist of seven members to be appointed by the governor pursuant to section 26‑34. Of the seven members, two shall be appointed from a list of nominees submitted by the president of the senate and two shall be appointed from a list of nominees submitted by the speaker of the house of representatives. All appointments to the commission shall be made within sixty days of the effective date of this Act.

(b) No person shall be appointed as a member of the commission or continue to be a member of the commission if the person:

(1) Is an elected state official;

(2) Is licensed by the commission pursuant to this chapter, or is an official of, has a financial interest in, or has a financial relationship with, any gaming operation subject to the jurisdiction of this commission pursuant to this chapter;

(3) Is related to any person within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity who is licensed by the commission pursuant to this chapter; or

(4) Has been under indictment, convicted, pled guilty or nolo contendere, or forfeited bail for a felony or a misdemeanor involving gambling or fraud under the laws of this State, any other state, or the United States within the ten years prior to appointment or a local ordinance in a state involving gambling or fraud that substantially corresponds to a misdemeanor in that state within the ten years prior to appointment.

(c) Vacancies in the commission shall be filled for the unexpired term in like manner as the original appointments.

(d) The president of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives may request that the governor remove or suspend a member of the commission who is nominated by the president of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives. Upon receipt of a request from the president of the senate or the speaker of the house of representatives, and after due notice and public hearing, the governor may remove or suspend for cause any member of the commission.

(e) Members of the commission shall:

(1) Be a resident of the State;

(2) Serve part-time;

(3) Be paid compensation of $300 for each day in the performance of official duties; and

(4) Be reimbursed for expenses, including travel expenses, incurred in the performance of official duties.

(f) Officers of the commission, including the chairperson, shall be selected by the members. The commission, subject to chapter 92, shall hold at least one meeting in each quarter of the state fiscal year. Special meetings may be called by the chairperson or any four members upon seventy-two hours written notice to each member. Four members shall constitute a quorum, and a majority vote of the members present shall be required for any final determination by the commission. The commission shall keep a complete and accurate record of all its meetings.

(g) Before assuming the duties of office, each member of the commission shall take an oath that the member shall faithfully execute the duties of office according to the laws of the State and shall file and maintain with the director a bond in the sum of $25,000 with good and sufficient sureties. The cost of any bond for any member of the commission under this section shall be considered a part of the necessary expenses of the commission.

(h) The commission shall appoint a person to serve as the executive director of the commission and who shall be subject to the commission's supervision. The executive director shall:

(1) Hold office at the pleasure of the commission;

(2) Be exempt from chapters 76 and 89;

(3) Devote full time to the duties of the office;

(4) Not hold any other office or employment;

(5) Perform all duties that the commission assigns;

(6) Receive an annual salary at an amount set by the commission; and

(7) Be reimbursed for expenses actually and necessarily incurred in the performance of the executive director's duties.

(i) Except as otherwise provided by law, the executive director may:

(1) Hire assistants, other officers, and employees, who shall be exempt from chapters 76 and 89 and who shall serve at the pleasure of the executive director; and

(2) Appoint committees and consultants necessary for the efficient operation of casino gaming; provided that no person shall be hired or appointed under this subsection who:

(A) Is an elected state official;

(B) Is licensed by the commission pursuant to this chapter or is an official of, has a financial interest in, or has a financial relationship with, any gaming operation subject to the jurisdiction of this commission pursuant to this chapter;

(C) Is related to any person within the second degree of consanguinity or affinity who is licensed by the commission pursuant to this chapter; or

(D) Has been under indictment, convicted, pled guilty or nolo contendere, or forfeited bail for a felony or misdemeanor concerning gambling or fraud under the laws of this State, any other state, or the United States within the last ten years, or a local ordinance in any state involving gambling or fraud that substantially corresponds to a misdemeanor in that state within the ten years prior to employment.

(j) The salaries of employees hired pursuant to subsection (i) shall be set by the executive director.

(k) The commission shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 establishing a code of ethics for its employees that shall include a prohibition on employees participating in or wagering on any casino game or casino gaming operation subject to the jurisdiction of the commission. The code of ethics shall be separate from and in addition to any standards of conduct set forth pursuant to chapter 84.

(l) No person shall be employed by the commission if:

(1) During the three years immediately preceding appointment or employment, the person held any direct or indirect interest in, or was employed by:

(A) A casino licensee under this chapter or in another jurisdiction; or

(B) A potential casino licensee who had an application to operate a casino pending before the commission or any other jurisdiction;

except that the person seeking employment may be employed by the commission if the person's interest in any casino licensee would not, in the opinion of the commission, interfere with the objective discharge of the person's employment obligations. A person shall not be employed by the commission if the person's interest in the casino licensee constitutes a controlling interest in that casino licensee; or

(2) The person or the person's spouse, parent, child, child's spouse, or sibling, is a member of the commission, or a director of, or a person financially interested in, any person licensed as a casino licensee or casino supplier, or any person who has an application for a casino or occupational license pending before the commission.

(m) Each employee of the commission, except the executive director or a key employee, shall file with the commission at the time of employment a financial disclosure statement listing all assets, liabilities, property and business interests, and sources of income of the employee and the employee's spouse.

(n) A member of the commission, executive director, or key employee shall not hold direct or indirect interest in, be employed by, or enter into a contract for service with, any applicant or person licensed by the commission for a period of five years after the date of termination of the person's membership on or employment with the commission.

(o) An employee of the commission shall not acquire any direct or indirect interest in, be employed by, or enter into a contract for services with any applicant or person licensed by the commission for a period of three years after the date of termination of the person's employment with the commission.

(p) A commission member or a person employed by the commission shall not represent a person or party other than the State before or against the commission for a period of three years after the date of termination of the member's term of office or the employee's period of employment with the commission.

(q) A business entity in which a former commission member or employee or agent has an interest, or any partner, officer, or employee of the business entity, shall not make any appearance or representation before the commission that is prohibited to that former member, employee, or agent. As used in this subsection, "business entity" means a corporation, limited liability company, partnership, limited liability partnership association, trust, or other form of legal entity.

-4 Staff. (a) The executive director shall keep records of all proceedings of the commission and shall preserve all records, books, documents, and other papers belonging to the commission or entrusted to its care relating to casino gaming.

(b) In addition to persons hired under section -3(i) the commission may employ any personnel that may be necessary to carry out its duties related to casino gaming.

-5 Powers of the commission. The commission shall have all powers necessary to fully and effectively supervise all casino gaming operations, including the power to:

(1) Administer, regulate, and enforce the system of casino gaming established by this chapter. The commission's jurisdiction shall extend to every person, association, corporation, partnership, trust, and any other entity with a financial interest in or holding a license under this chapter, or required under this chapter to hold a license in casino gaming operations in the city and county of Honolulu;

(2) Issue a ten-year casino license to operate a casino facility pursuant to this chapter;

(3) Determine the types and numbers of occupational and supplier's licenses to be permitted under this chapter;

(4) Adopt standards for the licensing of all persons under this chapter subject to the qualifications and standards set forth herein, to issue licenses, and to establish and collect fees for these licenses;

(5) Provide for the collection of all taxes imposed pursuant to this chapter, and to collect, receive, expend, and account for all revenues derived from casino gaming within the city and county of Honolulu;

(6) Enter at any time without a warrant and without notice to a licensee, the premises, offices, casino facility, or other places of business of a casino licensee, or casino supplier licensee, where evidence of the compliance or noncompliance with this chapter or rules is likely to be found. Entry is authorized to:

(A) Inspect and examine all premises wherein casino gaming or the business of gaming or the business of a supplier is conducted, or where any records of the activities are prepared;

(B) Inspect, examine, audit, impound, seize, or assume physical control of, or summarily remove from the premises all books, ledgers, documents, writings, photocopies of correspondence records, videotapes, including electronically stored records, money receptacles, other containers and their contents, equipment in which the records are stored, or other gaming related equipment and supplies on or around the premises, including counting rooms;

(C) Inspect the person, and inspect, examine, and seize personal effects present in a casino facility licensed under this chapter, of any holder of a licensed casino facility; and

(D) Investigate and deter alleged violations of this chapter or rules;

(7) Investigate alleged violations of this chapter and to take appropriate disciplinary action against a casino licensee or a holder of an occupational or supplier license for a violation, or institute appropriate legal action for enforcement, or both;

(8) Be present, through its inspectors and agents, any time casino gaming operations are conducted in any casino for the purpose of certifying the casino's revenue, receiving complaints from the public, and conducting other investigations into the conduct of the casino gaming and the maintenance of the equipment as from time to time the commission may deem necessary and proper;

(9) Adopt appropriate standards for a casino facility, as well as for electronic or mechanical gaming devices;

(10) Require that records, including financial or other statements, of any casino licensee under this chapter be kept in the manner prescribed by the commission and that any licensee involved in the ownership or management of casino gaming operations submit to the commission an annual balance sheet and profit and loss statement, a list of the stockholders or other persons having a five per cent or greater beneficial interest in the gaming activities of each licensee, and any other information the commission deems necessary to effectively administer this chapter;

(11) Conduct hearings, issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and subpoenas duces tecum for the production of books, records, and other pertinent documents, and to administer oaths and affirmations to the witnesses, when, in the judgment of the commission, it is necessary to administer or enforce this chapter. The executive director or the executive director's designee is also authorized to issue subpoenas and to administer oaths and affirmations to witnesses;

(12) Prescribe any employment application form to be used by any licensee involved in the ownership or management of casino gaming operations for hiring purposes;

(13) Eject or exclude, or authorize the ejection or exclusion of, any person from casino facilities where the person is in violation of this chapter or, based upon the person's conduct or reputation, the person's presence within a casino facility, in the opinion of the commission, may call into question the honesty and integrity of the casino gaming operation or interfere with the orderly conduct thereof, or any other action that, in the opinion of the commission, is a detriment or impediment to the casino gaming operations; provided that the propriety of that ejection or exclusion shall be subject to subsequent hearing by the commission;

(14) Permit a casino licensee of casino gaming operations to use a wagering system whereby wagerers' money may be converted to tokens, electronic cards, or chips, that shall be used only for wagering within the casino facility;

(15) Suspend, revoke, or restrict licenses, to require the removal of a licensee or an employee of a licensee for a violation of this chapter or a commission rule, or for engaging in a fraudulent practice;

(16) Impose and collect fines of up to $5,000 against individuals and up to $10,000 or an amount equal to the daily gross receipts, whichever is larger, against a licensee for each violation of this chapter, any rules adopted by the commission, or for any other action which, in the commission's discretion, is a detriment or impediment to casino gaming operations;

(17) Establish minimum levels of insurance to be maintained by a licensee;

(18) Delegate the execution of any of its powers for the purpose of administering and enforcing this chapter; and

(19) Adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 to implement this chapter, including rules that:

(A) Govern, restrict, approve, or regulate the casino gaming authorized in this chapter;

(B) Promote the safety, security, and integrity of casino gaming authorized in this chapter;

(C) License and regulate, consistent with the qualifications and standards set forth in this chapter, persons participating in or involved with casino gaming authorized in this chapter; and

(D) Take any other action that may be reasonable or appropriate to enforce this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter.

This section is not intended to limit warrantless inspections except in accordance with constitutional requirements.

-6 Member, employee, or agent of commission; conduct generally. (a) By January 31 of each year, each member of the commission shall prepare and file with the commission, a disclosure form in which the member shall:

(1) Affirm that the member or the member's spouse, parent, child, or child's spouse is not a member of the board of directors of, financially interested in, or employed by, a licensee or applicant;

(2) Affirm that the member continues to meet all other criteria for commission membership under this chapter or the rules adopted by the commission;

(3) Disclose any legal or beneficial interest in any real property that is or may be directly or indirectly involved with gaming operations authorized by this chapter; and

(4) Disclose any other information that may be required to ensure that the integrity of the commission and its work is maintained.

(b) By January 31 of each year, each employee of the commission shall prepare and file with the commission a disclosure form in which the employee shall:

(1) Affirm the absence of financial interests prohibited by this chapter;

(2) Disclose any legal or beneficial interests in any real property that is or that may be directly or indirectly involved with gaming or gaming operations authorized by this chapter;

(3) Disclose whether the employee or the employee's spouse, parent, child, or child's spouse is financially interested in or employed by a supplier licensee, or an applicant for a supplier's license, under this chapter; and

(4) Disclose any other information that may be required to ensure that the integrity of the commission and its work is maintained.

(c) A member, employee, or agent of the commission who becomes aware that the member, employee, or agent of the commission or their spouse, parent, or child is a member of the board of directors of, financially interested in, or employed by a licensee or an applicant shall immediately provide detailed written notice to the chairperson.

(d) A member, employee, or agent of the commission who has been indicted, charged with, convicted of, pled guilty or nolo contendere to, or forfeited bail for:

(1) A misdemeanor involving gambling, dishonesty, theft, or fraud;

(2) A local ordinance in any state involving gambling, dishonesty, theft, or fraud that substantially corresponds to a misdemeanor in that state; or

(3) A felony under Hawaii law, the laws of any other state, or the laws of the United States, or any other jurisdiction;

shall immediately provide detailed written notice of the conviction or charge to the chairperson.

(e) Any member, employee, or agent of the commission who is negotiating for, or acquires by any means, any interest in any person who is a licensee or an applicant, or is affiliated with such a person, shall immediately provide written notice of the details of the interest to the chairperson. The member, employee, or agent of the commission shall not act on behalf of the commission with respect to that person.

(f) A member, employee, or agent of the commission shall not enter into any negotiations for employment with any person or affiliate of any person who is a licensee or an affiliate and shall immediately provide written notice of the details of any such negotiations or discussions to the chairperson. The member, employee, or agent of the commission shall not take any action on behalf of the commission with respect to that person.

(g) Any member, employee, or agent of the commission who receives an invitation, written or oral, to initiate a discussion concerning employment or the possibility of employment with a person, or affiliate of a person, who is a licensee or an applicant shall immediately report the invitation to the chairperson. The member, employee, or agent of the commission shall not take action on behalf of the commission with respect to that person.

(h) A licensee or applicant shall not knowingly initiate a negotiation for, or discussion of, employment with a member, employee, or agent of the commission. A licensee or applicant who initiates a negotiation or discussion about employment shall immediately provide written notice of the details of the negotiation or discussion to the chairperson as soon as that person becomes aware that the negotiation or discussion has been initiated with a member, employee, or agent of the commission.

(i) A member, employee, or agent of the commission, or former member, employee, or agent of the commission, shall not disseminate or otherwise disclose any material or information in the possession of the commission that the commission considers confidential, unless specifically authorized to do so by the chairperson or the commission.

(j) A member, employee, or agent of the commission or a parent, spouse, sibling, or child of a member, employee, or agent of the commission shall not accept any gift, gratuity, compensation, travel, lodging, or anything of value, directly or indirectly, from any licensee, applicant, or any affiliate or representative of an applicant or licensee, unless the acceptance conforms to a written policy or directive issued by the chairperson or the commission. Any member, employee, or agent of the commission who is offered or receives any gift, gratuity, compensation, travel, lodging, or anything of value, directly or indirectly, from any licensee or any applicant or affiliate or representative of an applicant or licensee shall immediately provide written notification of the details to the chairperson.

(k) A licensee or applicant, or affiliate or representative of an applicant or licensee, shall not, directly or indirectly, knowingly give or offer to give any gift, gratuity, compensation, travel, lodging, or anything of value to any member, employee, or agent of the commission that the member, employee, or agent of the commission is prohibited from accepting under subsection (j).

(l) A member, employee, or agent of the commission shall not engage in any conduct that constitutes a conflict of interest, and shall immediately advise the chairperson in writing of the details of any incident or circumstances that would present the appearance of a conflict of interest with respect to the performance of commission-related work or duty of the member, employee, or agent of the commission.

(m) A member, employee, or agent of the commission who is approached and offered a bribe in violation of this chapter shall immediately provide a written account of the details of the incident to the chairperson and to a law enforcement officer of a law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.

(n) A member, employee, or agent of the commission shall disclose past involvement with any casino interest in the past five years and shall not engage in political activity or politically-related activity during the duration of the person's appointment or employment.

(o) A former member, employee, or agent of the commission may appear before the commission as a witness testifying as to factual matters or actions handled by the member, employee, or agent during the person's tenure as a member, employee, or agent of the commission. The member, employee, or agent of the commission shall not receive compensation for such an appearance other than a standard witness fee and reimbursement for travel expenses as established by statute or court rule.

(p) A licensee or applicant or any affiliate or representative of an applicant or licensee shall not engage in ex parte communications concerning a pending application, license, or enforcement action with members of the commission. A member of the commission shall not engage in any ex parte communications with a licensee or an applicant, or with any affiliate or representative of an applicant or licensee, concerning a pending application, license, or enforcement action.

(q) Any commission member, licensee, or applicant, or affiliate or representative of a commission member, licensee, or applicant, who receives any ex parte communication in violation of subsection (p), or who is aware of an attempted communication in violation of subsection (p), shall immediately report details of the communication or attempted communication in writing to the chairperson.

(r) Any member of the commission who receives an ex parte communication that attempts to influence that member's official action shall disclose the source and content of the communication to the chairperson. The chairperson may investigate or initiate an investigation of the matter with the assistance of the attorney general and law enforcement to determine if the communication violates subsection (p) or (q) or other state law. The disclosure under this section and the investigation shall remain confidential. Following an investigation, the chairperson shall advise the governor or the commission, or both, of the results of the investigation and may recommend action, as the chairperson considers appropriate.

(s) A new or current employee or agent of the commission shall obtain written permission from the executive director before continuing outside employment held at the time the employee begins to work for the commission. Permission shall be denied, or permission previously granted shall be revoked, if the nature of the work is considered to create a possible conflict of interest or otherwise interferes with the duties of the employee or agent for the commission.

(t) An employee or agent of the commission granted permission for outside employment shall not conduct any business or perform any activities, including solicitation, related to outside employment on premises used by the commission or during the employee's working hours for the commission.

(u) Whenever the chairperson is required to file disclosure forms or report in writing the details of any incident or circumstance pursuant to this section, the chairperson shall file the forms or reports to the commission.

(v) The chairperson shall report any action the chairperson has taken or contemplates taking under this section, with respect to an employee or agent or former employee or former agent, to the commission at the next meeting of the commission. The commission may direct the executive director to take additional or different action.

(w) No member, employee, or agent of the commission may participate in or wager on any gambling game conducted by any licensee or applicant, or any affiliate of an applicant or licensee, in the State or in any other jurisdiction, except as follows:

(1) A member, employee, or agent of the commission may participate in and wager on a gambling game conducted by a licensee under this chapter, to the extent authorized by the chairperson or commission as part of the person's surveillance, security, or other official duties for the commission; and

(2) A member, employee, or agent of the commission shall advise the chairperson at least twenty-four hours in advance if the person plans to be present in a casino in this State, or in another jurisdiction, operated by a licensee, applicant, or affiliate of a licensee or applicant, outside the scope of their official duties for the commission.

(x) Violation of this section by a licensee, applicant, or affiliate or representative of a licensee or applicant, may result in denial of the application for licensure, revocation or suspension of license, or other disciplinary action by the commission.

(y) Violation of this section by a member of the commission may result in disqualification or constitute cause for removal under section ‑3(d) or other disciplinary action as determined by the commission.

(z) A violation of this section by an employee or agent of the commission shall not result in termination of employment or require other disciplinary action if the commission determines that the conduct involved does not violate the purpose of this chapter. Employment shall be terminated:

(1) If the employee or agent is a spouse, parent, child, or spouse of a child of a commission member; or

(2) If, after being offered employment or having begun employment with the commission, the employee or agent intentionally acquires a financial interest in a licensee or applicant, or affiliate or representative of a licensee or applicant.

(aa) If a financial interest in a licensee or applicant, or affiliate or representative of a licensee or applicant, is acquired by:

(1) An employee or agent that has been offered employment with the commission;

(2) An employee of the commission; or

(3) The employee's or agent's spouse, parent, or child;

through no intentional action of the employee or agent, the employee or agent shall have up to thirty days to divest or terminate the financial interest. Employment may be terminated if the interest has not been divested after thirty days.

(bb) Violation of this section does not create a civil cause of action.

(cc) As used in this section:

"Outside employment" includes the following:

(1) Operation of a proprietorship;

(2) Participation in a partnership or group business enterprise; or

(3) Performance as a director or corporate officer of any for-profit corporation, or banking or credit institution.

"Political activity" or "politically related activity" includes any of the following:

(1) Using the person's official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with or affecting the result of an election;

(2) Knowingly soliciting, accepting, or receiving political contributions from any person;

(3) Running for nomination or as a candidate for election to a partisan political office; or

(4) Knowingly soliciting or discouraging the participation in any political activity of any person who is:

(A) Applying for any compensation, grant, contract, ruling, license, permit, or certificate pending before the commission; or

(B) The subject of or a participant in an ongoing audit, investigation, or enforcement action being carried out by the commission.

-7 Authorization of limited gaming. (a) Casino gaming shall only be permitted in one casino facility in the Waikiki area on the island of Oahu. Any application for a casino license to operate the casino facility shall include a casino facility development plan for the casino facility.

(b) The commission shall adopt the necessary rules and make applications available for a casino license to operate a casino facility within one hundred and twenty days of its appointment. Applications for a casino license shall be submitted to the commission no later than sixty days after the date applications are made available. The commission shall select the applicant who best meets the criteria pursuant to section ‑9 no later than ninety days after the final date applications must be submitted to the commission. If a selected applicant meets all the requirements of this chapter, the commission shall issue a license to the applicant within one hundred and twenty days after the date the applicant is selected.

-8 Application for casino license. (a) A person, including qualifiers, may apply to the commission for a casino license to conduct a casino gaming operation in the Waikiki area on Oahu. The application shall be made under oath on forms provided by the commission and shall contain information as prescribed by the commission, including the following:

(1) The name, business address, telephone number, social security number and, where applicable, the federal tax identification number of the applicant and every qualifier;

(2) An identification of any business, including, if applicable, the state of incorporation or registration, in which the applicant or qualifier has an equity interest of more than five per cent. If the applicant or qualifier is a corporation, partnership or other business entity, the applicant or qualifier shall identify any other corporation, partnership, or other business entity in which it has an equity interest of more than five per cent, including, if applicable, the state of incorporation or registration. The applicant or qualifier may comply with this paragraph by filing a copy of the applicant's or qualifier's registration with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission if the registration contains the information required by this paragraph;

(3) Whether the applicant or qualifier has been indicted, convicted, pled guilty or nolo contendere, or forfeited bail for a felony within the last ten years or a misdemeanor involving gambling, theft, or fraud within the last ten years, not including traffic violations, and including the date, the name and location of the court, arresting agency, prosecuting agency, the case caption, the docket number, the offense, the disposition, and the location and length of incarceration;

(4) Whether the applicant or qualifier has ever been granted any license or certificate issued by a licensing authority in the State, or any other jurisdiction, that has been restricted, suspended, revoked, or not renewed and a statement describing the facts and circumstances concerning the application, denial, restriction, suspension, revocation, or nonrenewal, including the licensing or codifying authority, the date each action was taken, and the reason for each action;

(5) Whether the applicant or qualifier, within the last ten years, has filed or had filed against it a civil or administrative action or proceeding in bankruptcy or has, within the last ten years, been involved in any formal process to adjust, defer, suspend, or otherwise address the payment of any debt, including the date of filing, the name and location of the court, the case caption, the docket number, and the disposition;

(6) Whether the applicant or qualifier, within the last five tax years, has failed to pay any final amount of tax due and payable under federal, state, or local law, after exhaustion of all interagency appeals processes, including the amount, type of tax, the taxing jurisdiction, and time periods involved;

(7) A statement listing the names and titles of all public officials or officers of any unit of state government or county government in the jurisdiction in which the casino facility is to be located, and the spouses, parents, and children of those public officials or officers who, directly or indirectly, own any financial interest in, have any beneficial interest in, are the creditors of or hold any debt instrument issued by, or hold or have an interest in any contractual or service relationship with, the applicant or a qualifier. As used in this paragraph, "public official" or "officer" does not include a person who would be listed solely because of the person's state or federal military service;

(8) The name and business telephone number of any attorney, counsel, or any other person representing an applicant or a qualifier in matters before the commission; and

(9) For the applicant only, a description of any proposed or approved casino gaming facility, including the economic benefit to the community, anticipated or actual number of employees, any statement from an applicant regarding compliance with federal and state affirmative action guidelines, projected or actual admissions, projected or actual gross receipts, and scientific market research, if any.

(b) Information provided on the application shall be used as the basis for a background investigation that the commission shall conduct with respect to each applicant and qualifier. An incomplete application shall be cause for denial of a license by the commission.

(c) Applicants shall submit with their application a plan for training residents of the State for jobs that are available at the casino facility. The plan shall take into consideration the need to provide training to low-income persons to enable them to qualify for jobs that will be created by the casino facility.

(d) Each applicant and qualifier shall disclose the identity of every person, association, trust, or corporation having a greater than five per cent direct or indirect financial interest in the casino gaming operation for which the license is sought. If the disclosed entity is a trust, the application shall disclose the names and addresses of the beneficiaries; if a corporation, the names and addresses of all stockholders and directors; if a partnership, the names and addresses of all partners, both general and limited.

(e) An application fee of $50,000 shall be paid to the commission by an applicant at the time of filing to defray the costs associated with an applicant and qualifier's background investigation conducted by the commission. If the costs of the investigation exceed $50,000, the applicant shall pay the additional amount to the commission. If the costs of the investigation are less than $50,000, the applicant shall receive a refund of the remaining amount. All information, records, interviews, reports, statements, memoranda, or other data supplied to or used by the commission in the course of its review or investigation of an application for a license shall be confidential, used only for the purpose of evaluating an applicant, and exempt from public disclosure required by chapter 92F, and shall not be admissible as evidence, nor discoverable in any action of any kind in any court or before any tribunal, commission, agency, or person, except for any action deemed necessary by the commission.

(f) An applicant shall be ineligible to receive a casino license if:

(1) The applicant has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this State, any other state, or the United States;

(2) The person has been convicted of any violation under part III of chapter 712, or substantially similar laws of another jurisdiction;

(3) The person has knowingly submitted an application for a license under this chapter that contains false information;

(4) The person is a member of the commission;

(5) The firm or corporation applying for a license employs a person described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) who participates in the management or operation of gaming operations authorized under this chapter; or

(6) A license of the applicant issued under this chapter, or a license to own or operate gaming facilities in any other jurisdiction, has been revoked.

-9 Criteria for award of a casino license. (a) The license to operate a casino facility shall be awarded based upon the following criteria:

(1) Whether the applicant's casino facility development plan for the casino facility will increase tourism, generate jobs, and provide revenue to the local economy;

(2) Whether the applicant has the financial resources and ability to construct the casino facility, based upon the submitted financial data and other facts;

(3) Whether the applicant has the financial ability to purchase and maintain adequate liability and casualty insurance and to provide an adequate surety bond;

(4) The applicant's capitalization to develop, construct, maintain, and operate the proposed casino facility;

(5) Whether the applicant has adequate capitalization to develop, construct, maintain, and operate, for the duration of the license, the proposed casino facility, in accordance with the requirements of this chapter and rules adopted by the commission, and to responsibly pay off its secured and unsecured debts, in accordance with its financing agreement and other contractual obligations;

(6) The extent to which the applicant or any of its qualifiers demonstrate that they have assisted the State in developing casino gaming through their commitment of resources to support, promote, and establish casino gaming in the State. Expenditures of time, money, and effort shall all be considered in connection with this criterion. The timing of participation shall further influence this criterion, with early participation and contribution to the casino development program receiving more favorable consideration;

(7) The extent to which the applicant or any of its qualifiers demonstrate that they have at least four years of experience in helping to revitalize an urban area by successfully planning, developing, and opening a land-based casino in any state that previously did not permit casino gaming. The experience in planning, developing, and opening a land-based casino in an urban area in the past five years shall receive more favorable consideration for this criterion. For purposes of this paragraph, "urban area" means a jurisdiction with a population of at least seven hundred fifty thousand;

(8) Whether the applicant or any of its qualifiers has been indicted, convicted, pled guilty or nolo contendere, or forfeited bail for a felony within the last ten years or a misdemeanor involving gambling, theft, or fraud within the last ten years, not including traffic violations;

(9) Whether the applicant or any of its qualifiers, within the last ten years, has filed, or had filed against it, a proceeding for bankruptcy or, within the last ten years, has been involved in any formal process to adjust, defer, suspend, or otherwise address the payment of any debt;

(10) Whether an applicant or any of its qualifiers, within the last five tax years, has failed to pay any final amount of tax due and payable under federal, state, or local law, after exhaustion of all interagency appeals processes; and

(11) Whether the applicant meets other standards for the issuance of a casino license that the commission may have adopted by rule. Any rules adopted pursuant to chapter 91 shall not be arbitrary, capricious, or contradictory to the expressed provisions of this chapter and shall further define and clarify the above listed conditions, rather than create new conditions for licensure.

(b) To demonstrate financial ability, the applicant may include the economic resources of the person or persons who will operate the casino facility and any qualifiers.

(c) Each applicant and qualifier shall submit with the application two sets of the applicant's fingerprints on forms provided by the commission.

(d) The commission may revoke the casino license if the licensee fails to begin regular casino gaming operations within twelve months of receipt of the commission's approval of the application or twelve months after a certificate of occupancy for the casino facility is first issued, whichever is later, upon a finding by the commission that the casino license revocation is in the best interest of the State.

(e) The commission shall establish a process to facilitate and expedite the approval of the necessary licenses and permits. The commission may establish its own procedures for the issuance of liquor licenses for any holder of a casino license under this chapter; provided that all state laws and county ordinances relating to liquor are met.

(f) Nothing in this chapter shall be interpreted to prohibit a licensed owner from operating a school for the training of any occupation licensee.

-10 Bond of licensee. Before a casino license is issued, the licensee shall file a bond in the sum of $200,000 with the department. The bond shall be used to guarantee that the licensee faithfully makes the payments, keeps books and records, makes reports, and conducts games of chance, in conformity with this chapter and rules adopted by the commission. The bond shall not be canceled by a surety on less than thirty days' notice in writing to the commission. If a bond is canceled and the licensee fails to file a new bond with the commission in the required amount on or before the effective date of cancellation, the licensee's license shall be revoked. The total and aggregate liability of the surety on the bond shall be limited to the amount specified in the bond.

-11 Application deficiency. (a) If, in the review of an application submitted under this chapter, the executive director identifies an apparent deficiency that, if true, would require denial of the license or the disqualification of a qualifier, the executive director shall notify the affected applicant or qualifier in writing of the apparent deficiency. The applicant or qualifier may then request an informal conference with the executive director to discuss the factual basis of the apparent deficiency.

(b) The executive director shall provide the applicant or qualifier a reasonable period of time to correct the apparent deficiency. If the apparent deficiency is not corrected within the reasonable time period, the executive director shall find that the apparent deficiency has not been corrected. Following this finding, the affected applicant or qualifier shall have an opportunity to appeal the executive director's finding of an apparent deficiency to the commission. The commission shall conduct an investigative hearing, pursuant to section ‑16 and in accordance with rules adopted under this chapter, to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support an apparent deficiency finding. At the hearing, the burden of proof shall be on the executive director to demonstrate that the finding of an apparent deficiency is supported by law and facts. Any finding by the commission about an applicant or a qualifier's apparent deficiency shall not constitute a final determination by the commission as to the suitability of the applicant to hold a license, or the suitability of a qualifier to hold an ownership interest in a casino applicant.

(c) At any time prior to a finding by the commission that a qualifier is unsuitable to hold an ownership interest in a casino applicant, a qualifier shall have the ability to sell its ownership interest in the casino applicant to the casino applicant, another qualifier, or a third party.

(d) A qualifier who has been issued a finding of an apparent deficiency shall have the right to request that the commission expand the apparent deficiency hearing under this section to include a determination of the qualifier's suitability to hold an ownership interest in the casino license applicant. If such a request is made, the commission shall determine the suitability of the affected qualifier separate from the suitability of the casino applicant and any of its other qualifiers. A request by a qualifier for an extended hearing pursuant to this section shall not prevent the commission from issuing a license to the applicant. Until the commission determines that a qualifier under this section is suitable to hold an ownership interest in the casino applicant, the casino applicant or licensee shall not do any of the following:

(1) Make any direct or indirect payments or distributions of revenue or other benefits to the qualifier that are related in any way to the qualifier's interest in the applicant; or

(2) Pay any direct or indirect compensation to the qualifier for services rendered to the applicant, unless specifically approved and authorized by the commission.

-12 Institutional investor. (a) Unless the commission determines that an institutional investor is unqualified, an institutional investor holding less than ten per cent of the equity securities or ten per cent of the debt securities of a casino licensee's affiliate or affiliated company that is related in any way to the financing of the casino licensee, shall be granted a waiver of the eligibility and suitability requirements if:

(1) The securities represent a percentage of the outstanding debt of the affiliate or affiliated company not exceeding twenty per cent, or a percentage of any issue of the outstanding debt of the affiliate or affiliated company not exceeding fifty per cent;

(2) The securities are those of a publicly traded corporation and its holdings of the securities were purchased for investment purposes only; and

(3) Upon request by the commission, the institutional investor files with the commission a certified statement that it has no intention of influencing or affecting the affairs of the issuer, the casino licensee, or its affiliate or affiliated company.

(b) The commission may grant a waiver under this section to an institutional investor holding a higher percentage of securities than allowed in subsection (a) upon a showing of good cause and if the conditions specified in subsection (a) are met.

(c) An institutional investor granted a waiver under this section that subsequently intends to influence or affect the affairs of the issuer shall provide notice to the commission and file an application for a determination of eligibility and suitability before taking any action that may influence or affect the affairs of the issuer.

(d) Notwithstanding any provisions of this chapter, an institutional investor may vote on all matters that are put to the vote of the outstanding security holders of the issuer.

(e) If an institutional investor changes its investment intent or if the commission finds that the institutional investor is unqualified, no action other than divestiture of the security holdings shall be taken until there has been compliance with this chapter.

(f) The casino licensee or an affiliate or affiliated company of the casino licensee shall immediately notify the commission of any information concerning an institutional investor holding its equity or debt securities that may affect the eligibility and suitability of the institutional investor for a waiver under this section.

(g) If the commission finds that an institutional investor, holding any security of an affiliate or affiliated company of a casino licensee that is related in any way to the financing of the casino licensee, fails to comply with the requirements of this section, or if at any time the commission finds that, by reason of the extent or nature of its holdings, an institutional investor is in a position to exercise a substantial impact upon the controlling interests of a casino licensee, the commission may take any necessary action to protect the public interest, including requiring the institutional investor to satisfy the eligibility and suitability requirements under sections ‑8, ‑9, and ‑10.

-13 Supplier's licenses. (a) No person shall furnish in excess of $500,000 worth of equipment, devices, or supplies to a licensed casino gaming operation under this chapter unless the person has first obtained a supplier's license pursuant to this section. The commission may issue a supplier's license to any person, firm, or corporation who pays a nonrefundable application fee, as set by the commission, upon a determination by the commission that the applicant is eligible for a supplier's license and upon payment by the applicant of a $5,000 license fee. Supplier's licenses shall be renewable annually upon payment of the $5,000 annual license fee and a determination by the commission that the licensee continues to meet all of the requirements of this chapter.

(b) The holder of a supplier's license may sell or lease, or contract to sell or lease, gaming equipment and supplies to any licensee involved in the ownership or management of casino gaming operations.

(c) Casino gaming supplies and equipment shall not be distributed unless supplies and equipment conform to standards adopted by rules of the commission.

(d) A person, firm, or corporation shall be ineligible to receive a supplier's license if:

(1) The person has been convicted of a felony under the laws of this State, any other state, or the United States;

(2) The person has been convicted of any violation under part III of chapter 712, or substantially similar laws of another jurisdiction;

(3) The person has knowingly submitted an application for a license under this chapter that contains false information;

(4) The person is a member of the commission;

(5) The firm or corporation is one in which a person described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) is an officer, director, or managerial employee;

(6) The firm or corporation employs a person described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4), that participates in the management or operation of casino gaming authorized under this chapter; or

(7) The license of the person, firm, or corporation issued under this chapter, or a license to own or operate casino gaming facilities in any other jurisdiction, has been revoked.

(e) A supplier shall:

(1) Furnish to the commission a list of all equipment, devices, and supplies offered for sale or lease in connection with casino games authorized under this chapter;

(2) Keep books and records for the furnishing of equipment, devices, and supplies to casino gaming operations separate and distinct from any other business that the supplier might operate;

(3) File quarterly returns with the commission listing all sales and leases;

(4) Permanently affix its name to all its equipment, devices, and supplies, used for casino gaming operations; and

(5) File an annual report listing its inventories of casino gaming equipment, devices, and supplies.

(f) Any person who knowingly makes a false statement on an application is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

(g) Any casino gaming equipment, devices, or supplies provided by any licensed supplier may either be repaired in the casino facility or be removed from the casino facility to a facility owned by the holder of a casino license for repair. Any supplier's equipment, devices, and supplies that are used by any person in an unauthorized gaming operation shall be forfeited to the county.

-14 Occupational licenses. (a) The commission may issue an occupational license to an applicant upon:

(1) The payment of a nonrefundable application fee set by the commission;

(2) A determination by the commission that the applicant is eligible for an occupational license; and

(3) Payment of an annual license fee in an amount set by the commission.

(b) To be eligible for an occupational license, an applicant shall:

(1) Be at least twenty-one years of age if the applicant performs any function involved in casino gaming by patrons. Any applicant seeking an occupational license for a non-gaming function shall be at least eighteen years of age;

(2) Not have been convicted of a felony offense in any jurisdiction or a crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude;

(3) Have demonstrated a level of skill or knowledge that the commission determines to be necessary to operate casino games in a casino facility; and

(4) Have met standards for the holding of an occupational license, as provided in rules adopted by the commission, including background inquiries and other requirements.

(c) Each application for an occupational license shall be on forms prescribed by the commission and shall contain all information required by the commission. The applicant shall set forth in the application whether the applicant:

(1) Has been issued prior gaming-related licenses in any jurisdiction;

(2) Has been licensed in any other jurisdiction under any other name, and, if so, the name and the applicant's age at the time; and

(3) Has had a permit or license issued from any other jurisdiction suspended, restricted, or revoked, and, if so, for what period of time.

(d) Each applicant shall submit with the application two sets of the applicant's fingerprints. The commission shall charge each applicant a fee to defray the costs associated with the search and classification of fingerprints obtained by the commission with respect to the application.

(e) The commission may refuse to grant an occupational license to any person:

(1) Who is unqualified to perform the duties required;

(2) Who fails to disclose or states falsely any information called for in the application;

(3) Who has been found guilty of a violation of this chapter or whose prior casino gaming related license or application has been suspended, restricted, revoked, or denied for just cause in any other jurisdiction; or

(4) For any other just cause.

(f) The commission may suspend, revoke, or restrict any occupational license:

(1) For any violation of this chapter;

(2) For any violation of the rules of the commission;

(3) For any cause which, if known to the commission, would have disqualified the applicant from receiving a license;

(4) For default in the payment of any obligation or debt due to the State or the county; or

(5) For any other just cause.

(g) A person who knowingly makes a false statement on an application is guilty of a petty misdemeanor.

(h) Any license issued pursuant to this section shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance and shall be renewable annually upon payment of the annual license fee and a determination by the commission that the licensee continues to meet all of the requirements of this chapter.

(i) Any training provided for an occupational licensee may be conducted either in a licensed casino facility or at a school with which a licensed casino facility owner has entered into an agreement.

-15 Annual report. The commission shall file a written annual report with the governor and the legislature at least sixty days prior to the close of each fiscal year and shall file any additional reports that the governor or the legislature requests. The annual report shall include:

(1) A statement of receipts and disbursements related to casino gaming pursuant to this chapter;

(2) Actions taken by the commission; and

(3) Any additional information and recommendations that the commission may deem valuable or which the governor or the legislature may request.

-16 Hearings by the commission. (a) Upon order of the commission, one of the commission members or a hearings officer designated by the commission may conduct any hearing provided for under this chapter related to casino gaming or by commission rule, and may recommend findings and decisions to the commission. The record made at the time of the hearing shall be reviewed by the commission, or a majority thereof, and the findings and decisions of the majority of the commission shall constitute the order of the commission in that case.

(b) Any party aggrieved by an action of the commission denying, suspending, revoking, restricting, or refusing to renew a license under this chapter may request a hearing before the commission. A request for a hearing shall be made to the commission in writing within five days after service of notice of the action of the commission. Notice of the actions of the commission shall be served either by personal delivery or by certified mail, postage prepaid, to the aggrieved party. Notice served by certified mail shall be deemed complete on the business day following the date of the mailing. The commission shall conduct all requested hearings promptly and in reasonable order.

-17 Conduct of casino gaming. Casino gaming may be conducted by the holder of a casino license, subject to the following:

(1) The site of the casino facility shall be restricted to the Waikiki area on the island of Oahu;

(2) The casino facility shall be a standalone facility and shall not be located within a hotel;

(3) The term of the casino license shall be ten years and shall be renewable for additional ten-year terms according to rules adopted by the commission;

(4) The casino facility shall be operated as a member-only facility that admits bona fide members only; provided that:

(A) A bona fide member may sponsor the admission of a guest to the casino facility on a one-day basis; provided that the guest:

(i) Pays a $20 one-day admission pass for each one-day of admission to the casino facility; and

(ii) Registers to stay at least one day and one night at a transient accommodation, such as a hotel, on the island of Oahu for each one-day admission to the casino facility; and

(B) The casino facility adopts and makes available to the general public bylaws or rules governing membership;

(5) The casino facility shall open no earlier than 8:00 a.m. and shall close no later than 4:00 a.m. daily, at which time all members and guests shall leave the casino facility;

(6) Minimum and maximum wagers on games shall be set by the casino licensee;

(7) Agents of the commission may enter and inspect any casino facility at any time for the purpose of determining compliance with this chapter;

(8) Employees of the commission shall have the right to be present in a casino facility or on adjacent facilities under the control of the casino licensee;

(9) Gaming equipment and supplies customarily used in conducting casino gaming shall be purchased or leased only from suppliers licensed under this chapter;

(10) Persons licensed under this chapter shall permit no form of wagering on games, except as permitted by this chapter;

(11) Wagers may be received only from a person present in a licensed casino facility. No person present in a licensed casino facility shall place or attempt to place a wager on behalf of another person who is not present in the casino facility;

(12) Wagering shall not be conducted with money or other negotiable currency, except for wagering on slot machines;

(13) A person under twenty-one years of age shall not be permitted in an area of a casino facility where casino gaming is being conducted, except for a person at least eighteen years of age who is an employee of the casino facility. No employee under twenty-one years of age shall perform any function involved in casino gaming by patrons. No person under twenty-one years of age shall be permitted to make a wager under this chapter;

(14) All tokens, chips, or electronic cards used to make wagers shall only be purchased from a licensed owner within the casino facility. The tokens, chips, or electronic cards may be purchased by means of an agreement under which the owner extends credit to the patron. The tokens, chips, or electronic cards shall be used while within a casino facility only for the purpose of making wagers on authorized games; and

(15) In addition to the above, casino gaming shall be conducted in accordance with all rules adopted by the commission.

-18 Collection of amounts owing under credit agreements. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, a casino licensee who extends credit to a casino gaming patron shall be expressly authorized to institute a cause of action to collect any amounts due and owing under the extension of credit as well as the licensee's costs, expenses, and reasonable attorney's fees incurred in collection.

-19 The state gaming fund; disposition of taxes collected. There is established within the state treasury the state gaming fund to be administered by the Hawaii gaming control commission into which shall be deposited all fees and fines collected under this chapter and general excise tax revenues pursuant to section 237‑31. Moneys from the state gaming fund shall be used to fund:

(1) A compulsive gamblers program;

(2) Public security at the casino facility; and

(3) Administrative expenses of the commission;

provided that not more than one per cent of the tax revenues collected in any fiscal year pursuant to section 237- shall be expended to fund the public security at the casino and the administrative expenses of the commission.

-20 Legislative oversight. (a) After the first fiscal year of operation, the auditor shall conduct a financial and social assessment of gaming operations. Thereafter, the auditor shall conduct biennial financial and social assessments of gaming operations. In conducting the assessments, the auditor shall identify the financial impacts of gaming on the state economy and the social impacts of gaming upon the community. The auditor shall submit a report of its findings and recommendations to the legislature no later than twenty days prior to the convening of the next regular session after the initial and biennial assessments are completed.

(b) After the first full fiscal year of operation, the auditor shall conduct a program and financial audit of the Hawaii gaming commission. Thereafter, the auditor shall conduct a program and financial audit every four years after the initial audit is completed.

-21 Compulsive gambler program. The commission shall create and implement a program to assist individuals who are identified as compulsive gamblers."

SECTION 3. Chapter 712, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part III to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"712‑ Casino gaming; exempted. This part shall not apply to casino gaming as authorized by chapter ."

SECTION 4. Section 84-17, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending subsection (c) to read as follows:

"(c) The following persons shall file annually with the state ethics commission a disclosure of financial interests:

(1) The governor, the lieutenant governor, the members of the legislature, and delegates to the constitutional convention; provided that delegates to the constitutional convention shall only be required to file initial disclosures;

(2) The directors and their deputies, the division chiefs, the executive directors and the executive secretaries and their deputies, the purchasing agents and the fiscal officers, regardless of the titles by which the foregoing persons are designated, of every state agency and department;

(3) The permanent employees of the legislature and its service agencies, other than persons employed in clerical, secretarial, or similar positions;

(4) The administrative director of the State, and the assistants in the office of the governor and the lieutenant governor, other than persons employed in clerical, secretarial, or similar positions;

(5) The hearings officers of every state agency and department;

(6) The president, the vice presidents, assistant vice presidents, the chancellors, and the provosts of the University of Hawaii and its community colleges;

(7) The superintendent, the deputy superintendent, the assistant superintendents, the complex area superintendents, the state librarian, and the deputy state librarian of the department of education;

(8) The administrative director and the deputy director of the courts;

(9) The members of every state board or commission whose original terms of office are for periods exceeding one year and whose functions are not solely advisory;

(10) Candidates for state elective offices, including candidates for election to the constitutional convention, provided that candidates shall only be required to file initial disclosures;

(11) The administrator and assistant administrator of the office of Hawaiian affairs;

(12) The Hawaii unmanned aerial systems test site chief operating officer[[];[] and]

(13) The members of the school facilities board appointed by the governor[.]; and

(14) The executive director, assistants, officers, and employees of the Hawaii gaming control commission."

SECTION 5. Section 237-13, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"237-13 Imposition of tax. There is hereby levied and shall be assessed and collected annually privilege taxes against persons on account of their business and other activities in the State measured by the application of rates against values of products, gross proceeds of sales, or gross income, whichever is specified, as follows:

(1) Tax on manufacturers.

(A) Upon every person engaging or continuing within the State in the business of manufacturing, including compounding, canning, preserving, packing, printing, publishing, milling, processing, refining, or preparing for sale, profit, or commercial use, either directly or through the activity of others, in whole or in part, any article or articles, substance or substances, commodity or commodities, the amount of the tax to be equal to the value of the articles, substances, or commodities, manufactured, compounded, canned, preserved, packed, printed, milled, processed, refined, or prepared for sale, as shown by the gross proceeds derived from the sale thereof by the manufacturer or person compounding, preparing, or printing them, multiplied by one-half of one per cent.

(B) The measure of the tax on manufacturers is the value of the entire product for sale.

(2) Tax on business of selling tangible personal property; producing.

(A) Upon every person engaging or continuing in the business of selling any tangible personal property whatsoever, there is likewise hereby levied, and shall be assessed and collected, a tax equivalent to four per cent of the gross proceeds of sales of the business; provided that, in the case of a wholesaler, the tax shall be equal to one-half of one per cent of the gross proceeds of sales of the business; and provided further that insofar as the sale of tangible personal property is a wholesale sale under section 237-4(a)(8), the tax shall be one-half of one per cent of the gross proceeds. Upon every person engaging or continuing within this State in the business of a producer, the tax shall be equal to one-half of one per cent of the gross proceeds of sales of the business, or the value of the products, for sale.

(B) Gross proceeds of sales of tangible property in interstate and foreign commerce shall constitute a part of the measure of the tax imposed on persons in the business of selling tangible personal property, to the extent, under the conditions, and in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution of the United States and the Acts of the Congress of the United States which may be now in force or may be hereafter adopted, and whenever there occurs in the State an activity to which, under the Constitution and Acts of Congress, there may be attributed gross proceeds of sales, the gross proceeds shall be so attributed.

(C) No manufacturer or producer, engaged in such business in the State and selling the manufacturer's or producer's products for delivery outside of the State (for example, consigned to a mainland purchaser via common carrier f.o.b. Honolulu), shall be required to pay the tax imposed in this chapter for the privilege of so selling the products, and the value or gross proceeds of sales of the products shall be included only in determining the measure of the tax imposed upon the manufacturer or producer.

(D) A manufacturer or producer, engaged in such business in the State, shall pay the tax imposed in this chapter for the privilege of selling its products in the State, and the value or gross proceeds of sales of the products, thus subjected to tax, may be deducted insofar as duplicated as to the same products by the measure of the tax upon the manufacturer or producer for the privilege of manufacturing or producing in the State; provided that no producer of agricultural products who sells the products to a purchaser who will process the products outside the State shall be required to pay the tax imposed in this chapter for the privilege of producing or selling those products.

(E) A taxpayer selling to a federal cost-plus contractor may make the election provided for by paragraph (3)(C), and in that case the tax shall be computed pursuant to the election, notwithstanding this paragraph or paragraph (1) to the contrary.

(F) The department, by rule, may require that a seller take from the purchaser of tangible personal property a certificate, in a form prescribed by the department, certifying that the sale is a sale at wholesale; provided that:

(i) Any purchaser who furnishes a certificate shall be obligated to pay to the seller, upon demand, the amount of the additional tax that is imposed upon the seller whenever the sale in fact is not at wholesale; and

(ii) The absence of a certificate in itself shall give rise to the presumption that the sale is not at wholesale unless the sales of the business are exclusively at wholesale.

(3) Tax upon contractors.

(A) Upon every person engaging or continuing within the State in the business of contracting, the tax shall be equal to four per cent of the gross income of the business.

(B) In computing the tax levied under this paragraph, there shall be deducted from the gross income of the taxpayer so much thereof as has been included in the measure of the tax levied under subparagraph (A), on another taxpayer who is a contractor, as defined in section 237-6; provided that any person claiming a deduction under this paragraph shall be required to show in the person's return the name and general excise number of the person paying the tax on the amount deducted by the person.

(C) In computing the tax levied under this paragraph against any federal cost-plus contractor, there shall be excluded from the gross income of the contractor so much thereof as fulfills the following requirements:

(i) The gross income exempted shall constitute reimbursement of costs incurred for materials, plant, or equipment purchased from a taxpayer licensed under this chapter, not exceeding the gross proceeds of sale of the taxpayer on account of the transaction; and

(ii) The taxpayer making the sale shall have certified to the department that the taxpayer is taxable with respect to the gross proceeds of the sale, and that the taxpayer elects to have the tax on gross income computed the same as upon a sale to the state government.

(D) A person who, as a business or as a part of a business in which the person is engaged, erects, constructs, or improves any building or structure, of any kind or description, or makes, constructs, or improves any road, street, sidewalk, sewer, or water system, or other improvements on land held by the person (whether held as a leasehold, fee simple, or otherwise), upon the sale or other disposition of the land or improvements, even if the work was not done pursuant to a contract, shall be liable to the same tax as if engaged in the business of contracting, unless the person shows that at the time the person was engaged in making the improvements the person intended, and for the period of at least one year after completion of the building, structure, or other improvements the person continued to intend to hold and not sell or otherwise dispose of the land or improvements. The tax in respect of the improvements shall be measured by the amount of the proceeds of the sale or other disposition that is attributable to the erection, construction, or improvement of such building or structure, or the making, constructing, or improving of the road, street, sidewalk, sewer, or water system, or other improvements. The measure of tax in respect of the improvements shall not exceed the amount which would have been taxable had the work been performed by another, subject as in other cases to the deductions allowed by subparagraph (B). Upon the election of the taxpayer, this paragraph may be applied notwithstanding that the improvements were not made by the taxpayer, or were not made as a business or as a part of a business, or were made with the intention of holding the same. However, this paragraph shall not apply in respect of any proceeds that constitute or are in the nature of rent, which shall be taxable under paragraph (9); provided that insofar as the business of renting or leasing real property under a lease is taxed under section 237-16.5, the tax shall be levied by section 237-16.5.

(4) Tax upon theaters, amusements, radio broadcasting stations, etc.

(A) Upon every person engaging or continuing within the State in the business of operating a theater, opera house, moving picture show, vaudeville, amusement park, dance hall, skating rink, radio broadcasting station, or any other place at which amusements are offered to the public, the tax shall be equal to four per cent of the gross income of the business, and in the case of a sale of an amusement at wholesale under section 237‑4(a)(13), the tax shall be one-half of one per cent of the gross income.

(B) The department may require that the person rendering an amusement at wholesale take from the licensed seller a certificate, in a form prescribed by the department, certifying that the sale is a sale at wholesale; provided that:

(i) Any licensed seller who furnishes a certificate shall be obligated to pay to the person rendering the amusement, upon demand, the amount of additional tax that is imposed upon the seller whenever the sale is not at wholesale; and

(ii) The absence of a certificate in itself shall give rise to the presumption that the sale is not at wholesale unless the person rendering the sale is exclusively rendering the amusement at wholesale.

(5) Tax upon sales representatives, etc. Upon every person classified as a representative or purchasing agent under section 237-1, engaging or continuing within the State in the business of performing services for another, other than as an employee, there is likewise hereby levied and shall be assessed and collected a tax equal to four per cent of the commissions and other compensation attributable to the services so rendered by the person.

(6) Tax on service business.

(A) Upon every person engaging or continuing within the State in any service business or calling including professional services not otherwise specifically taxed under this chapter, there is likewise hereby levied and shall be assessed and collected a tax equal to four per cent of the gross income of the business, and in the case of a wholesaler under section 237-4(a)(10), the tax shall be equal to one-half of one per cent of the gross income of the business.

(B) The department may require that the person rendering a service at wholesale take from the licensed seller a certificate, in a form prescribed by the department, certifying that the sale is a sale at wholesale; provided that:

(i) Any licensed seller who furnishes a certificate shall be obligated to pay to the person rendering the service, upon demand, the amount of additional tax that is imposed upon the seller whenever the sale is not at wholesale; and

(ii) The absence of a certificate in itself shall give rise to the presumption that the sale is not at wholesale unless the person rendering the sale is exclusively rendering services at wholesale.

(C) Where any person is engaged in the business of selling interstate or foreign common carrier telecommunication services within and without the State, other than as a home service provider, the tax shall be imposed on that portion of gross income received by a person from service which is originated or terminated in this State and is charged to a telephone number, customer, or account in this State notwithstanding any other state law (except for the exemption under section 237-23(a)(1)) to the contrary. If, under the Constitution and laws of the United States, the entire gross income as determined under this paragraph of a business selling interstate or foreign common carrier telecommunication services cannot be included in the measure of the tax, the gross income shall be apportioned as provided in section 237-21; provided that the apportionment factor and formula shall be the same for all persons providing those services in the State.

(D) Where any person is engaged in the business of a home service provider, the tax shall be imposed on the gross income received or derived from providing interstate or foreign mobile telecommunications services to a customer with a place of primary use in this State when the services originate in one state and terminate in another state, territory, or foreign country; provided that all charges for mobile telecommunications services which are billed by or for the home service provider are deemed to be provided by the home service provider at the customer's place of primary use, regardless of where the mobile telecommunications originate, terminate, or pass through; provided further that the income from charges specifically derived from interstate or foreign mobile telecommunications services, as determined by books and records that are kept in the regular course of business by the home service provider in accordance with section 239-24, shall be apportioned under any apportionment factor or formula adopted under subparagraph (C). Gross income shall not include:

(i) Gross receipts from mobile telecommunications services provided to a customer with a place of primary use outside this State;

(ii) Gross receipts from mobile telecommunications services that are subject to the tax imposed by chapter 239;

(iii) Gross receipts from mobile telecommunications services taxed under section 237-13.8; and

(iv) Gross receipts of a home service provider acting as a serving carrier providing mobile telecommunications services to another home service provider's customer.

For the purposes of this paragraph, "charges for mobile telecommunications services", "customer", "home service provider", "mobile telecommunications services", "place of primary use", and "serving carrier" have the same meaning as in section 239-22.

(7) Tax on insurance producers. Upon every person engaged as a licensed producer pursuant to chapter 431, there is hereby levied and shall be assessed and collected a tax equal to 0.15 per cent of the commissions due to that activity.

(8) Tax on receipts of sugar benefit payments. Upon the amounts received from the United States government by any producer of sugar (or the producer's legal representative or heirs), as defined under and by virtue of the Sugar Act of 1948, as amended, or other Acts of the Congress of the United States relating thereto, there is hereby levied a tax of one-half of one per cent of the gross amount received; provided that the tax levied hereunder on any amount so received and actually disbursed to another by a producer in the form of a benefit payment shall be paid by the person or persons to whom the amount is actually disbursed, and the producer actually making a benefit payment to another shall be entitled to claim on the producer's return a deduction from the gross amount taxable hereunder in the sum of the amount so disbursed. The amounts taxed under this paragraph shall not be taxable under any other paragraph, subsection, or section of this chapter.

(9) Tax on casino gaming. Upon every person engaging or continuing within the State in the business of casino gaming, as authorized under chapter , the tax shall be equal to per cent of the gross income of the business.

[(9)] (10) Tax on other business. Upon every person engaging or continuing within the State in any business, trade, activity, occupation, or calling not included in the preceding paragraphs or any other provisions of this chapter, there is likewise hereby levied and shall be assessed and collected, a tax equal to four per cent of the gross income thereof. In addition, the rate prescribed by this paragraph shall apply to a business taxable under one or more of the preceding paragraphs or other provisions of this chapter, as to any gross income thereof not taxed thereunder as gross income or gross proceeds of sales or by taxing an equivalent value of products, unless specifically exempted."

SECTION 6. Section 237-31, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"237-31 Remittances. All remittances of taxes imposed by this chapter shall be made by money, bank draft, check, cashier's check, money order, or certificate of deposit to the office of the department of taxation to which the return was transmitted. The department shall issue its receipts therefor to the taxpayer and shall pay the moneys into the state treasury as a state realization, to be kept and accounted for as provided by law; provided that:

(1) A sum, not to exceed $5,000,000, from all general excise tax revenues realized by the State shall be deposited in the state treasury in each fiscal year to the credit of the compound interest bond reserve fund;

(2) A sum from all general excise tax revenues realized by the State that is equal to one-half of the total amount of funds appropriated or transferred out of the hurricane reserve trust fund under sections 4 and 5 of Act 62, Session Laws of Hawaii 2011, shall be deposited into the hurricane reserve trust fund in fiscal year 2013-2014 and in fiscal year 2014-2015; provided that the deposit required in each fiscal year shall be made by October 1 of that fiscal year; [and]

[[](3)[]] Commencing with fiscal year 2018-2019, a sum from all general excise tax revenues realized by the State that represents the difference between the state public employer's annual required contribution for the separate trust fund established under section 87A-42 and the amount of the state public employer's contributions into that trust fund shall be deposited to the credit of the State's annual required contribution into that trust fund in each fiscal year, as provided in section 87A-42[.]; and

(4) Two per cent of all general excise tax revenues realized by the State pursuant to section 237-13(9) shall be deposited into the state gaming fund, established under section -19."

SECTION 7. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 8. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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Report Title:

Casino Gaming; Waikiki

 

Description:

Grants 10-year license for 1 stand-alone, members-only casino in Waikiki, not in a hotel. Allows guests 21 years of age or older who register to stay 1 day and night at a hotel on Oahu for each day of admission at $20-per-day pass. Establishes the Hawaii gaming control commission. Imposes wagering tax on gross receipts. Creates the state gaming fund and compulsive gambler program.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.