Casinos in Hawaii: A Good or Bad Gamble?
The streets of Las Vegas Boulevard, which are littered with advertisements picturing naked girls willing to provide their services for a price, can be a scary place as someone takes a stroll. Drunk men stumble out of strip clubs and casinos, and girls in gaudy clothing and stilettos apply lipstick at their post. Nobody knows when someone lurking in the shadows might pop out with a knife to steal an unsuspecting person’s wallet. Or even worse, a friendly-looking stranger walking in the opposite direction could be waiting to come across the right person to drag into a dark alley, muffle their screams so that their cries for help blend into the noisy background of the streets, and do the unthinkable.
The tolerance of drugs, prostitution, gambling, 24-hour liquor sales, gang violence, and the emphasis on the nightlife give Las Vegas its nickname, Sin City. Also known as The Entertainment Capital of the World, Las Vegas is a world-wide attraction for people from all walks of life. Whether visitors are seeking relaxation in one of Las Vegas’s five-star hotel casinos along with entertainment, gambling, shopping, and fine dining; employment or a new home in the nation’s fastest growing community, or the permissible use of money for sex-related services; Las Vegas thrives off of their tourism industry. Sometimes referred to as Hawaii’s ninth island, Las Vegas is a popular vacation spot for residents of Hawaii. Seeing as how Hawaii, along with Utah, is one of the only two states in the country where gambling is illegal, Hawaii residents visit Las Vegas to delight in part in guilty pleasure. Every week, as many as 3,000 people from Hawaii visit Las Vegas, and a growing amount of former Hawaii residents have made Sin City their new home (www.visitlasvegas.com).
Facing billion dollar deficits and on the prowl for ways to increase revenue, Hawaii law makers have brought into question whether legalizing gambling would be a beneficial way of economic development. Dennis Arakaki, head of the Hawaii Family Forum and Hawaii Catholic Conference says, “people in Hawaii like gambling, but they realize it is not a very good idea to legalize it. Gambling isn’t a good way to deal with your financial problems, either personally or as a state.” Although gambling bills are pitched every year, Republican Governor, Linda Lingle is against the introduction of gambling to the islands (The Philadelphia Inquirer). In fact, the legalization of gambling in Hawaii is misleading in terms of increasing revenue and employment opportunities for the state. It will take away from the beauty and culture of the islands that visitors come to see. Although gambling supporters tend to leave this part out, the legalization of gambling will bring the hidden impact of gambling addiction to many people of Hawaii.
Allowing gambling to be legal won’t necessarily rid the state of its billion dollars of debt. While gambling is a way to make money, The Drake Law Review says that figures are overestimated as a way of persuading government officials to allow gambling into our community. For example, in Quincy, Illinois, a betting parlor was estimated to bring in 200,000 dollars in tax revenue. Its actual earnings turned out to be barely one-third of that estimated figure. The future of the economy cannot always be predicted accurately. Therefore, to say that a gambling establishment will bring in a certain amount of money is literally taking a gamble. What the Drake Law Review is saying is that the amount of revenue is knowingly exaggerated as a way of misleading the community to think it is a way to get rich quick. It is also usual for gambling businesses, most of which hold government franchises, to request and receive five-year tax waivers. The building of new hotel casinos will surely create more jobs; however, the Illinois Business Review conducted a study showing the over-optimism in the expectancy of...
Cited: Niesse, Mark. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Associated Press
Gambling Causes Economic Decline. New Mexico Coalition Against Legalized Gambling
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