2 Mar 2010

Hawaii lobbyist highlights casino benefits

4:03 pm on 2 March 2010

A lobbyist, who conducted an economic impact study a decade ago on introducing casinos into Hawaii, says gambling brings huge economic benefits.

The U.S. state is one of a few with no casino.

Lawmakers in Hawaii, who are facing billion dollar budget deficits, are seeking ways of increasing revenue, considering as an option to allow a casino on Oahu or open casinos on land set aside for native Hawaiians.

A businessman, John Radcliffe of Capitol Consultants of Hawaii, says the study showed just how beneficial two casinos on Oahu would be to the recession hit economy.

"At that time ten years ago, we determined it would be a very big economic boom to Hawaii's tourism economy and to the economy in general of Hawaii, that it would add 20-thousand jobs, that it would generate about $712 million dollars per year, show off an incredibly large number of taxes, increased taxation for the state of Hawaii, altogether a win win win all the way around."

John Radcliffe says tourists would also be inclined to stay longer and spend more money, if there was a casino.