I know we are in a tough time financially. Especially on a state level. But I'm not sure I'm ready to give into gambling. If I want to gamble, I go to Vegas. There are going to be those that say "BINGO isn't gambling...", but I'm not convinced that this is the direction we should be moving.
I'm talking about a proposal that cleared the House Hawaiian Affairs Committee. It would allow BINGO games to be conducted by one licensee, one location; and the funds would be divvied out 20% to the state general fund, 1% to a program to treat compulsive gamblers, 4% admin to run the BINGO and the rest to Hawaiian Home Lands Trust Fund.
Rep. Faye Hanohano said "We're saying, as a committee, why don't we explore it and see if it is feasible,". Rep. Gene Ward who cast the only dissenting vote (9-1) said "It's a remedy for quick revenue; It's really a trap in disguise because of the social ills and the costs that go to the greater society."
I usually am not with the opposition too much, but gotta agree with Gene on this one. I find it tough that my son will grow up in Hawaii where gambling would take place; once that happens, there are other "dark forces" that will take advantage of our situation and will set up house here related to gambling.
We can't take care of our homeless, we're still dealing with fixing our education system and yet we're willing to dip into this deep well to quickly satisfy our financial needs; I was happy to hear the proposal for single stand-alone casino's for Waikiki was deferred. I'm still on the fence about off-shore gambling.
Eventually someone will tell me that "Hey, you don't want to cut any of the services government has, but the money has to come from somewhere." and they will be right. I was hurt inside when I saw that funding was cut for wonderful people like IHS, Boys & Girls Club of Honolulu and so many more. How will we take care of people that need the help? Will those help themselves, or be pulled deeper costing our society more in the later years? So many questions with not enough answers.
I know that when I want to gamble, a 6 hour 10 min plane trip is not too far....Vegas here I come...AGAIN! :)