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Hawaii lawmakers again debating legal gambling
Sunday, February 14, 2010 at 10:44:46 AM
Gambling interests spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying and public relations in Hawai'i nearly a decade ago, tempting state lawmakers with new tax revenue from a grand resort and casino.
This year, with no similar lobbying blitz, state House lawmakers have opened the door to legalized gambling, either through a single casino on O'ahu or casinos on Hawaiian home lands.
Privately, many lawmakers doubt that gambling has much of a chance, even with the state facing a $1.2 billion budget deficit through June 2011. There appears to be a firewall of opposition in the state Senate and, if a bill were to pass, it would likely fall short of the two-thirds' majorities needed in both chambers to override an almost-certain veto by Gov. Linda Lingle.
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