Local Connection: Waikiki Casino

By Rick Blangiardi

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Hawaii legislature has tabled a bill to allow a casino in Waikiki. If you enjoy gambling in Vegas, maybe you question this decision.

But what the legislature has done is actually wise... On several levels.

I leave it to others to moralize, or to warn you of mob influences.

There are excellent mathematical reasons not to ever allow gaming here.

Las Vegas reports monthly gaming revenues the way we do visitor arrivals. This excellent source of data shows clearly that gaming revenue is cyclical. It plunges sharply during economic downturns just when you need it most.

The whole premise of legalizing gambling in Hawaii is that we'll get a windfall of tax revenues, but the Nevada data show plainly that we won't.

It is worth noting that the Hawaii Tourism Authority, which is judged by how much visitor spending rises, testified against a casino. Tourism officials, who would support gambling if there really was good money in it, oppose it.

They think it would simply divert money that visitors now spend on attractions. It would have been unwise to gamble on a casino when tourism the way we now do it is a sure thing.

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