KAPOLEI, Hawaii (KHON2) — The comment period remains open for a proposed casino in Kapolei.

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Rep. Stacelynn K.M. Eli cited a report done at the request of herself and her colleagues. It outlines public health impacts tied to gambling, such as sex trafficking and violence against women.

“As a beneficiary and the only legislative who is a wait-lister I am deeply troubled by this proposal,” said Eli. “This casino does not align with DHHL commitment to manage this trust with sound policy and procedures nor their commitment to work side by side with beneficiaries to create, to create and maintain vibrant homestead communities.”

The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands issued a statement after the Monday, Feb. 1 press conference hosted by Rep. Eli.

We acknowledge the social concerns brought up in today’s press conference and in the newly issued report, ‘Gambling With Women’s Safety: A Feminist Assessment of DHHL Proposed Resort Casino.’ It is no secret that illegal gaming is already a reality in our communities and that there are related social ills already in existence.

The Chair and I believe that gaming can be responsibly implemented in Hawaiʻi through a regulatory process that sets aside resources to aid in the mitigation of the potential impacts. These resources can fund similar public safety measures and best practices that have already been developed and administered by countries like Japan, Singapore, and New Zealand.

DHHL’s proposal was written with social responsibility in mind and includes specific funding sources that would help alleviate negative social impacts.

Tyler Iokepa Gomes
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands Deputy