DHHL’s dreams of bringing a casino to Hawaii dashed for now

Slot Machine, Generic Image
Slot Machine, Generic Image(HNN)
Updated: Feb. 18, 2021 at 4:44 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state Senate committee voted 2-to-3 Thursday to defer a measure that would have created a casino on Hawaiian Home Lands, likely killing the proposal this legislative session.

An overwhelming majority testified against the bill with some prosecutors saying that a new gambling industry would increase crime, sex trafficking, domestic violence and addictions.

On the other hand, supporters said a casino would have generated about $30 million to help Hawaiians and would have created 2,000 to 7,000 jobs.

“Last week we saw a glimmer of hope with the proposed amendments made by the Senate Committee on Hawaiian Affairs,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Aila, Jr. “Today, that flicker died.”

Aila said that he appreciates the efforts for innovative thinking to address the shortfall in funding. “We have heard that gaming is a proposal much of our community does not welcome, but a consistent funding source for infrastructure to develop homestead lots is still a puzzle that needs to be solved,” he said.

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