April 2010 Home   Newsletters

July 2010

State Council to be held August 14, 2010
Focus for Council - LWV-HI Goals and Objectives (Sue Irvine)
Legalized Gambling: A State or County Issue? (Sue Dursin)
League of Women Voters of Hawaii Goals and Objectives
Hawaii State Ethics Commission Courts Unwelcome Attention (Jean Aoki)
Phoenix Rail System Cuts Back on Service (Honolulu News) (Pearl Johnson)
Local Leader & League Member Recognized by Foundation
Applauding LWV-US for Another Successful Convention
National LWV Elects New President
Agriculture Group Will Focus on Regulations
LWV-Hawaii Proposed Budget 2010-2011
LWV of Honolulu Ed Fund Seeks Nominees (Robin Loomis)
Mahalo Honolulu Contributors
We're Cleaning Out

Legalized Gambling: A State or County Issue?

The latest face-off between gambling opponents and supporters raises two questions for Hawaii’s League of Women Voters. Is there a divide-and-conquer move afoot? Will county councils reverse their positions against legalized gambling?

On June 24th, the HSAC (Hawaii State Association of Counties) annual conference featured a debate between Alex Santiago and John Radcliffe of Capitol Consultants of Hawaii. Moderated by Dan Cook, the session was billed as “A Fresh Look at Gaming: Can Counties Afford Not To Do It?” Santiago is executive director of PHOCUSED, a social service organization representing those underserved by health and human services. Radcliffe is a lobbyist.

Radcliffe spoke on the benefits of increased revenue from casinos. Santiago countered with information about social impacts and the costs of gambling. Nestor Garcia, the Honolulu HSAC representative and current president, was unsure whether revenue would offset infrastructure and service costs of each county (such as additional police and fire personnel, road or sewer costs.)

Radcliffe also brought up the idea of each county being free to decide whether a casino would meet its particular needs. “Every county is different”, he said. “Some just can’t overcome the religious or socially conservative elements in their population.”

In 2009 and 2010, the county councils of Honolulu and Hawaii passed resolutions opposing legalized gambling. If this conference is a sign of ongoing legalization efforts, it is important to remind council members and legislators of those resolutions.

Grace Furukawa, LWV liaison to HCALG (Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling) and Susan Dursin (Hawaii County Co-president) attended the conference. Because HSAC is a taxpayer-funded organization, they reasoned that the session should have been open to observers.

Sue Dursin

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