New law will tax Hawaii residents on winnings

Talk about your bittersweet victories.

Hawaiians who win big in Las Vegas will be hit with state taxes on the proceeds, even if they lose money on the same trip.

Under a bill signed into law this month by Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle gamblers will no longer be able to deduct gambling losses for state income purposes.

That means someone who wins $10,000 in a year but loses $9,000 back to the casino will be taxed on the entire $10,000, the Honolulu Advertiser reported in today's edition.

"We're always net losers, but it is about loving to come and gamble in Las Vegas," Hawaiian Jonathan Kaufman told the Review-Journal. "You practically don't even want to win a jackpot anymore."

Kaufman and his wife have visited Las Vegas every month for the past five years.

"It is definitely going to affect my play," Kaufman said.

And it could affect Las Vegas as a whole.

Hawaii is a major source of visitation to Las Vegas, especially to downtown casinos operated by Boyd Gaming.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at 702-445-9464 or


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