State Budget Shortfall-Let's Bet on Legalized Gaming

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Highlights of Legalized Gaming:

*1. Shipboard (2-3 ships; about 800 gaming positions each with about 6-hour cruises around the clock) gambling potential annual increase in tax income to state at $28M, $43M and $78M; with 998, 1,508 and about 3,795 direct and indirect new net job gains as shown in the pessimistic, moderate and optimistic scenarios presented in Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism 1997 report.



*2. Shipboard (4 ships; also around the clock operation permanently moored in harbor) with an estimated potential annual increase in tax income to the state of $200M-$300,000,000; and at least 3,000 new jobs created, as shown in the HGEA testimony dtd Feb 8, 2000.


*3. Establishment of a new State Lottery, especially if net proceeds assigned to for example education including programs such as Ready to Learn or a Hawaii high school scholarship for accredited local institutions of higher learning would according to many gaming studies be less detrimental to society than other forms of legal gambling. A respectable lottery could probably net around $25M annual increase in (non-tax) income to the state.

*4. According to the Colorado Lottery, the average lottery player is middle aged, has middle income, with at least some post high school education.


*5. Also, according to a Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions Wager article “An increase in the number of gambling venues in a given area does not necessarily lead to an increase in the prevalence of pathological gambling. If pathological gamblers participate solely in illicit gambling activities, then it is possible that a doubling or even tripling of legal gambling opportunities would have little or no effect on prevalence.”


”’Bruce Bennett is a resident of Mililani. He can be reached via email at”’