Maui News

Rep. Eli Urges Halt to Casino Proposal

February 2, 2021, 7:45 AM HST
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Rep. Stacelynn Eli

State Representative Stacelynn Eli is urging a halt to a proposal to build a casino on Hawaiian Home Lands.

She called the proposal “woefully ignorant and reckless,” saying she is troubled by the effects a casino could have on Hawaiian women and the community at large. 

Eli (D-43, ‘Ewa Villages, Kalaeloa, Honokai Hale, Nanakai Gardens, Ko ‘Olina, Kahe Point, Nānākuli, Lualualei, Mā‘ili) is the only member of the State Legislature who is a Hawaiian Home Lands beneficiary and on the waiting list for a property of her own.

“This casino does not align with DHHL’s commitment to manage its trust with sound policies and procedures nor their commitment to work side-by-side with beneficiaries to create and maintain vibrant homestead communities, and should be halted,” said Rep. Eli.

The Department of Hawaiian Homelands issued a statement saying that gaming can be responsibly implemented in Hawai‘i through a regulatory process that sets aside resources to aid in the mitigation of the potential negative social impacts.

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DHHL Deputy Tyler Iokepa Gomes issued a statement saying, “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.”

He continued saying, “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,” said Gomes.  

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