Honolulu City Council bill takes aim at simulated gambling devices

More gaming machines could be deemed “illegal” through a City Council bill that is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday morning at Kapolei Hale.

Bill 30 is scheduled for second reading, so it’s still a ways off from becoming law.  But it does open the floor for discussion.

If the bill were passed as written, any game with a video display that allows users to play gambling-type games for the chance to win cash or something of value would become illegal on Oahu.

One opponent said the bill is too broad and it could make children’s arcade games illegal.

And the head of the Hawaii Restaurant Association is worried the bill could have unintended consequences.

“Unintended consequences in terms of some of the simple games people enjoy playing not gambling, encourage you to buy another hamburger, encourage you to change to this bank or shop at Foodland as opposed to Safeway, the simple games that might be eliminated because of the strict wording of the law,” Hawaii Restaurant Association’s Roger Morey said.

Councilman Joey Manahan introduced the bill after receiving complaints from constituents.

“The bill in terms of those types of games that may be promotional at McDonald’s, the bill is meant to address the simulated gambling devices more than the monopoly games more than that.  So that was the intent and purpose of the bill,” Manahan said.

Manahan says they also plan to discuss games like this one at Ala Moana Center, which pay out money.

The bill calls for a punishment of up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000.

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