Checks in the Mail

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Millions of Americans are expecting their economic stimulus rebate checks. Many have already received their money, but are they using it the way the government intended?

Michi Shimamoto of Kaimuki says, "I'll spend mine in Vegas of course."

And she's not alone. Several people we talked to plan on gambling with their money.

John Dela Cruz of Ewa Beach says, "I plan on going to Puerto Rico in December, so I'm hoping to use it for probably a couple hands in Puerto Rico."

He just received his money two days ago.

Most tax payers we spoke with plan on being responsible with their rebate.

Dawn Barr of Kaimuki is one of them. She says, "I would like to have used it to have fun, but with the economics right now that's just not reality."

The rebate checks were issued as early as two weeks ago through the mail. And if you filed electronically, then it was sent through direct deposit at your bank. Although many people have already received their checks, there's still others who have not.

Jose Castellanos of Aiea says times are hard, so his money may not be used the way the government had hoped.

He says, "I think they were hoping we'd spend it on the economy, but reality is that more people are using it to pay their bills and credit card debts, and gas."

It's a reality, retailers like Andre Debouk hope will change. He owns Luna Jewels on Kapiolani Boulevard in Honolulu.

He says, "I'm waiting for them. I haven't seen them yet, but hopefully they will come."

Like many retailers, he's hoping tax payers use their rebate money to stimulate the economy.

and he says, he wouldn't ask anyone to do something with their rebate check he wasn't willing to do himself.

He told us, "I'm going to splurge and spend it all."

According to the irs website, electronic rebates should have been posted by the end of business day May 16th.

If you filed your taxes by mail, you may not get your rebate until July.