Honolulu Illicit Gambling Room Site of Murder, Arrest Follows
A man was shot dead on Wednesday at an illegal gambling operation in Honolulu, Hawaii, island police revealed. On Thursday, a suspect was arrested for second-degree murder for the death, KHON, a local TV station, reported.
The victim, 33, got into a fight with the male suspect at about 10 pm, the report said. The suspect fired an unspecified number of bullets at the man. The victim soon died inside the gambling venue.
The suspect ran from the crime scene. Later, he was under arrest for an unrelated crime when he was identified by police and arrested for the shooting.
The shooting took place off of Kapiolani Boulevard on the island of Oahu. It is a major commercial thoroughfare near Mamala Bay.
The suspect and victim likely knew each other before the fatal incident, police said.
Neither the name of the suspect nor of the victim was immediately released by police in Hawaii. The suspect soon will have to enter a plea to the charge in criminal court in Hawaii.
Wednesday’s shooting represents Honolulu’s 15th murder of the year, KGMB, another local TV station, reported.
No word yet if police will charge the operators of the illegal gambling venue. But it was reported the incident remains under investigation.
No Legal Gambling
Hawaii is one of two states with no form of legal wagering. Utah is the other.
Proposals to allow wagering have been defeated in the state’s legislature.
Legislative proposals have recommended bingo, casinos, horse racing, or a lottery. The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) also proposed building a casino in Kapolei on the island of Oahu.
It is the island’s second-largest city. But that too failed.
The lack of legal gambling venues has led to the growth of illegal operations, local media have reported.
Honolulu Cops Undertake Raids
In 2021, the Honolulu Police Department searched some 50 illegal game rooms, Honolulu Civil Beat, an online news site, reported. The raids led to the arrest of 31 suspects last year.
In 2020, Honolulu cops raided 41 illicit game rooms. Some 28 suspects were charged.
Looking back, 32 gambling raids and 45 arrests took place in 2019 in Honolulu. There were 31 raids in 2018.
Most gaming machines were seized by police from illegal gambling dens in such neighborhoods as Kalihi, West Oahu, and Pearl City, the Civil Beat reported.
But the effectiveness of such raids has been questioned. Slot machines and other gambling machines may be seized. Some cash may be taken by authorities.
And an illegal game room may be closed after a raid. But another operation can open to take its place, the Civil Beat said.
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