Think About It: A Dicey Idea

February 2, 2012

Think About It: A Dicey Idea

How much you wanna bet someone is some form of local gambling will be suggested in this year's legislature? And how much you wanna bet ideas will get listened to, flipped around like a fish in a frying pan, and then ultimately get tossed in the legislative garbage can? Many see the allure of having some form of gambling in Hawaii; we just can't seem to wrap our brains around how to make it work without all of the assumed unsavory elements tied to the pastime. Combine that with a strong lobbying effort from Las Vegas and religious groups, and you can see why gambling is a "no dice" option every time it comes up and then gets busted like a hand of 22 on a blackjack table.

But perhaps the idea of gambling on a single Hawaii cruise ship when it's out at sea might not be so unpalatable. A floating craps table and such can be measured, controlled, and will be primarily frequented by visitors, especially those looking for something new to do in Hawaii. As we look to what it will take in the not-so distant future to pay the ever-increasing bills for local needs at the same time the tourism sector looks to re-invent itself in some ways, gambling is always going to be an option. And according to a recent Waikiki Improvement Association survey, 76% of those locals who were surveyed felt OK about some form of combined entertainment/gambling center in Waikiki. Conversely, about half of those surveyed also had some issues as to whether or not such a venture would actually have a negative impact on our state.

Should we gamble on gambling? An age old question that many locally still answer by saying they prefer to see roulette wheels and blackjack left in the lounges of Las Vegas rather than on our shores. Perhaps a trial on the waters around our island chain would be the safest way to see the impact before we start rolling the dice on shore. Think about it…

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