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There is always a certain amount of criticism that takes place whenever expanded gambling is discussed. In Hawaii, opponents have taken that to a new level by blasting proposals to legalize gambling in the state.
“Does Hawaii really need one more addiction?” asked City Prosecutor Peter Carlisle. He was speaking at a news conference in which he stated his opposition to any form of gambling coming to Hawaii. Carlisle was not alone.
“Gambling is not the financial answer. Everyone believes a state just legalizes casino gambling and other forms of gambling and money just shows up out of nowhere. That is not how it works,” said Hawaii resident Peter Hork.
Actually, many states in the US have shown that is the way it works. The deals that have been made in various states involve casino developers to give the state millions of dollars up front. Then, once casinos are open there are additional taxes placed on winnings.
Although they are receiving heavy criticism from anti-gambling groups, lawmakers in Hawaii are still planning on pushing forward with their ideas, insisting that keeping residents of Hawaii at home could help turn around the local economy.
“People are going to gamble anyway, so if we can utilize gaming in a focused way, let’s try it out,” said Senator Fred Hemmings. He was referring to the large amount of people that travel from Hawaii to Nevada each year to get their gambling fix.
The debate may be firing up, but there is really little chance that lawmakers will make any law changes regarding gambling this session. It is more likely that the issue will be examined more thoroughly next session.