HONOLULU (KHON2) — Would you consider Hawaii to have a gambling problem? The state is one of many states where gambling is prohibited by law however that doesn’t stop people from gambling.
WalletHub, a free credit score website, listed the states with the highest and lowest gambling addiction. The report states gambling exists in every state, even in places like Hawaii and Utah where gambling is against the law.
The study compared the 50 states across two key dimensions and 20 key metrics like commercial and tribal casinos per capita, gaming machines per 1,000 residents, commercial casinos revenues per capita, lottery sales per capita and more.
Their study also took into consideration gambling disorder across the country. WalletHub reports when the business or pleasure gets out of control gambling can become a real medical condition. They report the disorder impacting 1-3 percent of all U.S. residents and it may be on the rise.
U.S. consumers experience over $100 billion per year in total gambling losses. Individually, a male gambling addict accumulates an average debt between $55,000 and $90,000 whereas a female averages $15,000.
Because some addicts cannot afford to pay back what they owe, gambling addicts develop a tendency to amass even more debt, suffer from other health issues, lose their jobs, strain their relationships or even commit crimes.
The least gambling states in the country are Hawaii, Vermont, Maine, Alaska and Utah. The top five gambling states are Nevada, South Dakota, Montana, Mississippi and Oklahoma.
From their study Hawaii tied for the fewest casinos per capita, fewest gaming machines per capita and lowest lottery sales per capita.
Lallen Johnson with American University said there is a stigma around crime and casinos. However, he believes that isn’t always the truth.
“Anecdotally, there is a belief that casino development will inherently lead to increased crime and disorder,” said Johnson. “But my work, based on a single site in Philadelphia, suggests otherwise.”
Johnson said instead of viewing casinos generally as a class of troublesome land uses, it should be considered whether the safety and security policies and built environments of individual establishments provide opportunities that are ripe for victimization.
Despite gambling being illegal in the state of Hawaii Honolulu Police Department (HPD) still catch people operating illegal gambling rooms throughout the city.
Back in March of 2022, HPD confiscated 18 gambling machines and cash from an illegal gaming room in the Keeaumoku area. On Jan. 2022 HPD raided a different illegal game room in Liliha confiscated 16 gambling machines and a large amount of cash.
HPD said If individuals would like to make a report on illegal gambling in their area, they may call the Narcotics/Vice Division at 808-726-3933.
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To read the full report by WalletHub on most and least gambling addicted states you can head to their website.