There are still people in Hawaii who believe that one way to shore up the visitor industry is by legalizing gambling.
Last year there was talk in the Legislature of everything from full-blown casinos to video slots and video poker at selected sites in Waikiki. We expressed our opposition to any of those options. We simply think nature is the state's biggest attraction and that gambling quickly becomes a tax on local citizens who can least afford it.
Now comes word from another state that maybe the country is becoming a bit saturated with casinos. The Business Courier of Cincinnati (a sister publication of Pacific Business News) reported Monday that two of three operating casinos in Ohio have seen their operating revenues fall after just six months in operation.
To quote from the Business Courier story about The Horseshoe Casino in Cleveland and The Hollywood Casino in Toledo:
"The revenue at both sites has dropped every month since their openings last spring."
The third operating casino - The Hollywood Casino in Columbus - just opened last month.
In any event, casino gambling is not turning out to be the boon to Ohio that proponents predicted.
We'd repeat what we've said before - a lottery with proceeds earmarked for education is fine. Any further moves toward legalizing gambling will cheapen Hawaii's image in the marketplace and damage our own citizens.
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.