Bill could affect local gamblers - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Bill could affect local gamblers

Rep. Pono Chong, (D) Rep. Pono Chong, (D)
Patti Garrett Patti Garrett
Lian Abernathy Lian Abernathy

By Kristine Uyeno - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Your next trip to Las Vegas could end up costing you more.

It all has to do with a house bill that's sitting on Governor Linda Lingle's desk, waiting for her signature.

"It gets rid of the ability to deduct your losses should you have winnings," said Rep. Pono Chong, (D) Kaneohe.

He introduced House Bill 1495 as a way to address the state's huge budget deficit.

"We had to make tough choices this year, faced with over $2 billion shortfall, this is one of the measures, in addition to budget cuts, that helped us, not have to raise broad taxes like the general excise tax," he said. "The bill probably will not affect a lot of people or most people who go to Vegas. It's only people who win large jackpots."

He estimates it would generate about $300,000 a year for the state.

"Actually I think it's not the popular answer, but it probably is fair, with the state of the economy and the state's need to generate revenue," said Patti Garrett, Manoa resident.

"Yeah it doesn't really affect us because we have two little kids so we don't really go to Vegas very much so it doesn't really affect us," said Lian Abernathy, Hawaii Kai resident.

It wouldn't just affect your trip to Sin City. Local residents wouldn't be able to deduct their losses to offset winnings from anywhere outside the state.

"And this was one of those things that helped us address the shortfall without impacting a lot of people greatly," said Chong.

Governor Lingle has another month to decide whether to sign the bill.

Powered by Frankly