Hawaii discards proposals for island gambling

February 25, 2010 1:02:42 PM PST
Lawmakers in Hawaii have decided not to allow gambling on the state's sunny isles. Legislators killed a bill that would have allowed a casino in tourist-filled Waikiki. A second measure allowing gambling on Hawaiian home lands won't get a vote.

Public testimony on the gambling measures was overwhelmingly negative, leading the House Finance Committee to scuttle the idea Wednesday night.

Hawaii and Utah are the only states that don't permit any form of gambling.

Gambling interests pitched casinos as a way to help rejuvenate the state's tourism industry and to bring $86 million a year in tax revenue to a state facing a projected $1.2 billion deficit.

But opponents argued a casino would eat up tourist money, tarnish the state's family-friendly image and increase crime.