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Politics // The Right Price
Larry Price

Bringing Out Anti-gambling Gurus

As our legislators promised, they introduced a total of 18 gambling bills covering the entire spectrum of the gaming industry. As expected, none of them are going to become law – and all for the same reason.

Forces for the opposition bring in a couple of academic heavyweights to lobby against the induction of any serious gambling legislation.

First, there is John Warren Kindt, J.D., Professors Emeritus of Business Administration at the University of Illinois. He has written impact studies and is responsible for passage of the U.S. Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006.

Second, the opposition brought in Earl I. Grinols, Ph D., MIT scholar and Distinguished Professor of Economics at Baylor University.

Remember their names because whenever gambling legislation is introduced in Hawaii, these two academic giants will surely appear and deliver the same message: gambling fails the cost-benefit test. Example: Costs of introducing gambling depends on a starting base, but typically for every $194 spent per adult, legalized gambling yields only $63 in benefits. (Gambling Economic, Grinols, 2013.)

Strong and convincing evidence presented by Grinols and Kindt point out that 30 percent of our population doesn’t gamble at all and most gamble rarely. Furthermore, 30 to 50 percent of gambling revenues are derived from problem/pathological gamblers.

Does this mean Hawaii will not get any gambling legislation passed in the immediate future?

You can pretty much bet on it not happening anytime soon.

Does this mean that Hawaii’s residents are against gambling?

Absolutely not. What it probably means is that Hawaii’s residents are not against gambling, they are against gambling in Hawaii.

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