Taxing Odds - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

April 16, 2007

Taxing Odds

Now that tax time is upon us, here's a taxing issue that you might want to talk to someone official about, like your neighborhood elected official.

Why don't we have a state-run lottery in Hawaii?  I know the potential pitfalls and concerns about gambling binges, but since just about every other state in the union seems to have figured out a way to make a lottery work with more positives than negatives, why can't we get it done here?  It sure beats running out of money for needed projects, and our 6-million visitors could feel free to play, too.

After all, sending our gambling money to Las Vegas serves no purpose here?  No casinos, no gaming, no shipboard gambling--that's not a door I'm opening in this query; just a state-run lottery to help pay for school needs and roads and many other projects.  Again, there are plenty of examples and guides to study from other states to ensure that we do it right and avoid obvious pitfalls and also handle intelligent concerns up front.  It's not perfect, but let's at least let the voters decide next fall.  If enough people here support it, why not give it a go?

And wouldn't a state-run lottery help retailers if more people come into their shops?  If we depend on tourism, construction, and the military to build our financial reserves, we know the dangers when something goes flat, or worse.  I'd gamble on a lottery, though I know the odds are slim; let the people decide next year.  Think About It...

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