Following a recent 5-4 vote by the Hawaiian Homes Commission to build a casino in the Kapolei land of Native Hawaiians, the state’s governor, David Ige, has expressed skepticism about the economic benefits of the proposed project.
Hawaiian Governor David Ige Cautious about Proposed Casino
A casino in Hawaii is a bit like Schrodinger’s cat. It may or may not happen, and until it does – or doesn’t – we can’t know which. This analogy may be ill-picked, but it describes the most recent hesitations about a proposed casino project in Hawaii.
With no specific concept in place, the Hawaiian Homes Commission has been pushing for the introduction of a casino resort as an alternative revenue source for the state, which relies heavily on tourism for its financial well-being.
The global pandemic has wiped off much of the receipts Hawaiians expected, and the Commission has been stepping up efforts, suggesting that Oahu should host the resort in a bid to diversify its tourist attractions.
However, Gov. David Ige spoke out against the idea and argued that the potential tax benefits from running a casino would be a fraction of what the social costs of gambling would end up running in.
Kapolei Casino Is Not a Done Deal
Yet, the realization of a project is on the move with the Commission giving a go-ahead in a 5-4 vote to establish a casino at the lands belonging to Native Hawaiians in Kapolei. To see this project come to fruition, though, Gov. Ige will have to include it in the legislative agenda next year.
However, the governor is skeptical about the economic value to the community. In fact, the governor believes there is no actual economic value to be garnered thereof. Now, though, the Commission insists that a bill is adopted so that a casino resort may arrive in the foreseeable future.
However, the project is far from a done deal. The project is ruffling some feathers though. Traditionally, Hawaiians are big gamblers and their trips to Las Vegas are one of the main revenue sources for the city.
Not too much perhaps, but thousands of Hawaii visitors come to Vegas every year to enjoy gambling, which is illegal in most other states. According to Vital Vegas’ Scott Roeben, even if a project is cleared, despite opposition from the governor, Hawaii will need to attract a developer who is willing to invest.
A Hawaiian casino is not a done deal, but it is shaping up nicely notwithstanding the governor’s qualms.