24 Feb 2010

Hawaii gambling opponents warn about casino impact

4:59 pm on 24 February 2010

Gambling opponents in Hawaii are urging state legislators not to consider opening casinos so that the islands can maintain their reputation as a family-friendly tourist destination.

Hawaii is one of a few U.S. states without casinos.

Lawmakers in Hawaii facing billion dollar budget deficits are seeking ways to increase revenue and consider as an option to allow a casino on Oahu or open casinos on Hawaiian home lands.

But the executive director for Hawaii's Family Forum, Dennis Arakaki, says it would have a negative impact on society.

"We know there's many negative consequences once you allow gambling to become legal. So we know that it results in increased violent crime, property crimes, drug-related crimes and even brings in organised crime as well as addictions to gambling, drugs and alcohol and many of these things of course are detrimental to families."

Hawaii Family Forum's executive director Dennis Arakaki.