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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Tuesday, November 11, 2003

Gambling beginning to lose its Mainland allure

There was a time not long ago when it seemed each week brought a new casino or gambling resort some place across the United States.

Dazzled by the success of Las Vegas and of the two mega-casinos operated by Indian tribes in Connecticut, jurisdictions everywhere sought to jump on the gaming bandwagon.

It was the success — or at least alleged success — of these Mainland casinos that help push the pro-gambling effort in Hawai'i.

Thus far, Hawai'i has resisted the lure. And it now appears the tide may be turning.

On election day last week voters in several states rejected more large-scale gambling proposals.

In Maine, voters decisively rejected a proposal by two tribes to build a $650 million gambling resort.

In Iowa, a majority of the voters in Linn County rejected a riverboat casino proposal. Likewise, Colorado voters voted against a plan to add casino-style gambling on several racetracks.

About the only pro-gambling vote was in Indiana, where voters approved a casino between two resort hotels in the southern part of the state.

But by and large, the message from voters who have seen gambling close up was clear: We don't want any more of it.