Contrasting News as Hawaii Announces Casino Resort Plans While Slovakia Introduces Gambling Ban

Honolulu
Honolulu (ErgoSum88 / Wikipedia.org)

In the near future, when international travel is allowed once more, you may start shortlisting potential destinations you might like to visit. Depending on your budget and preferences, two options that might feature are Slovakia – an understated hidden gem in Europe, and Hawaii, an island whose beauty and peaceful tranquillity requires no further explanation.

However, if you plan your holiday-making around the possibility of getting in some casino gaming time, you may want to heed two bits of news that have emerged in the past couple of days.

Casino Resorts Heading to Hawaii?

Waikīkī Beach
Waikīkī Beach in Honolulu, Oahu (Cristo Vlahos / Wikipedia.org)

For the best part of a century, in which Hawaii has established itself as a much-desired vacation destination, the island has resisted the lure of the casino – instead attracting tourists on the back of its picturesque coastline and warm hospitality. But that could all change, with the government agency the Department of Hawaiian Homelands (DHHL) considering the possibility of welcoming a resort to the group of islands in a bid to boost the state’s coffers after a tough 2020.

The smaller island of Oahu is being considered as the likely recipient of the ambitious plan, with profits generated used to bridge a $6 billion loss in tourism revenue while providing jobs for local people. Hawaii is one of just eight American states without a casino and, along with Utah, one of just a pair that currently has no gambling whatsoever – not even a lottery.

And so there is likely to be significant opposition to the proposals of the DHHL, which would include several rounds of voting and the need for the motion to be approved by the House of Representatives and the Senate. But with an estimated 28,000 Hawaiians still on the waiting list for a new home, pressure is mounting on the islanders to find a considerable new revenue stream.

Bratislava Doubles Down on Gambling Ban

Bratislava
Bratislava (Marc Ryckaert / Wikipedia.org)

Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, has taken the extraordinary step of banning casinos and other gaming properties after receiving a petition with more than 70,000 signatures on it. The city’s council has agreed to pass legislation that bans casinos on Bratislavan soil in the wake of increasing pressure from local residents, who believe that social disorder is one of the impacts of the thriving gaming halls.

A spokesperson commented: “The council has done everything in its power to ensure that the will of the people expressed in the petition has been fulfilled.” It means that no new licence applications will be accepted from would-be operators in the Central European city, nor will current licence holders be able to extend their approval beyond a 2024 cut-off point.

The gambling ban doesn’t stretch to all forms of betting, however, with bookmakers’ shops and bingo halls allowed to remain in business. Similar public resistance in the neighbouring Czech Republic saw slot machines banned in the capital Prague, and now Bratislava law-makers have taken their own steps to appease the populace and tackle the social ills plaguing the city, which has a population of some 430,000.