Hawaii gaming supporter wants to place slot machines at Honolulu convention center


If it’s January, then it’s time for another casino gaming proposal to surface in Hawaii.

Gambling proponents believe Honolulu’s 15-year-old convention center would be the perfect location for slot machine casino. Revenues from the games would help pay for a renovation to the facility.

Randy Tanaka, the assistant general manager of the convention center told KITV News, Honolulu’s ABC affiliate, that he was not aware anyone was pushing gaming proposals for the center.

“It’s news to me,” said Tanaka.

Hawaii is one just two states, along with Utah, that does not have any form of legalized gaming.

The Hawaii Tourism Authority said it has not taken a position on gambling, but longtime gambling supporter Joe Souki told the TV station the convention center is under consideration.

“There is some possibility we could put it there and start it off quickly,” said the Maui lawmaker.

Souki has introduced a bill for a stand-alone entertainment center and casino. It calls for a single casino, centrally located in Waikiki and not attached to any hotel.

Other bills in the Hawaii Legislature would allow Internet gambling, slot machines in resort areas and at the Honolulu International Airport.

In the past gaming legalization bills have faced stiff opposition from opponents.