Friday, January 26, 2001
home page local news opinion business island life sports
AP National & International News
Traffic Hotspots
School Calendar
E-The People
Email Lawmakers
Classified Ads
Restaurant Guide
Business Directory

Posted on: Friday, January 26, 2001

Governor tepid on casino bill's odds

By Kevin Dayton
Advertiser Capitol Bureau Chief

The plan to build a hotel and casino on West Oahu will be "a very, very difficult proposition" to sell to the Legislature, and probably won’t pass, Gov. Ben Cayetano said yesterday.

"The odds are very long," Cayetano said, when asked whether Sun International Hotels Ltd. is likely to win approval to put a 1,500-room hotel and casino at Ko Olina.

House Republicans announced yesterday that they oppose the casino plan, and complained that it "looks suspiciously like the fix was in for this particular bet."

But Cayetano said he warned Sun International executives he would not try to get the gambling measure passed because he has other, more pressing issues to pursue at the Legislature.

Cayetano met with Sun International executives in December when he traveled to Sun’s Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. He traveled with Jim Boersma, a public relations executive who represents Sun, and with Caye-

tano’s longtime friend Charles Toguchi. Toguchi was later hired as a lobbyist for the gambling proposal.

Cayetano said the advocates for Sun project wanted to show him how gambling blended with the resort operation.

Cayetano told reporters he was willing to take a look because the Sun proposal would use state tax collections from the Hawaii casino to raise millions of dollars for college scholarships. But, he said, he didn’t make the trip to see the casino.

"My purpose was to go and see the largest aquarium in the world" which is part of the Atlantis Resort, he said.

Cayetano pointed out that he offered his own plan for raising college scholarship money — a plan that does not involve gambling — in his State of the State address last week.

[back to top]

Home | Local News | Opinion | Business | Island Life | Sports
Weather | Traffic Hotspots | Obituaries | School Calendar | Email Lawmakers
How to Subscribe | How to Advertise | Site Map | Terms of Service | Corrections

© COPYRIGHT 2001 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.