Gambling With Our Future - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

February 2, 2009

Gambling With Our Future

Every couple of years, a new gambling plan rears its head in the local legislature; its "ugly head", according to some who see gambling as a sure sign of the beginning of the end of society.  Let's think for a minute about how to make this a win-win scenario.

What if gambling was allowed only on a single cruise ship or two, and only while the ships are a mile or more off shore? Since over 90% of traffic aboard local cruise ships is visitors from the mainland or abroad, wouldn't this solve most of the concerns about gambling becoming a locally addictive, ruinous, social concern?  Don't get me wrong, I've seen people in mobile homes eating off of paper plates in Las Vegas while someone might be inside trying to hit that one lucky number.  I have experienced sweaty palms myself while playing at a $5-minimum blackjack table.  We have all seen lack of responsibility with drivers and drinkers, but we manage to make do with those activities as an island society, even with offenders.  And, we all know how much local money is legally dropped in Nevada.

Even if we choose one isolated, economically-challenged local location or one or two cruise ships and mandate that this will be the absolute extent of the gambling experiment for at least 5- or 10-years, can't we see if this might make some sense?  If it fails, the willing business entity who jumps onboard will be the first to pull up stakes for sure.  Is now the time to finally check this option out, with safeguards built in?  Think about it...

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