David Ige, who was in Washington this week, said Monday that he will stop state support for the Hawaiian poke bowl that was established by an independent organization and was supported by the federal government.
Ige made the announcement in a press release on his official Facebook page.
“In order to protect our fragile islands, we have decided to stop all federal funding for the Hawai’i poke bowl,” Ige said.
“We will continue to work with local partners and other state and federal agencies to make sure Hawaii remains an innovative and open place to play poker and gambling.”
The poke bowl was set up by an Independent Hawaiian Poker Association that aims to improve the state’s poker scene by hosting tournaments for women, men and people of color.
Iged said he was “pleased to announce the formation of a new poke bowl association,” which he said would be “a way for us to continue to support local and state-sponsored tournaments.”
Ige has been a staunch opponent of the poke bowl since the association began in April.
In December, he proposed a bill that would have prohibited the state from funding the state-organized poke bowl, but that bill died in committee.
More: Ige: Hawaii poke bowl to be held next year in Honolulu