Bingo in Paradise

It is hard for most people to understand why anyone would be opposed to bingo games. Bingo is considered by most as a ‘soft’ form of gambling and has a long association with churches and charities as a fundraising tool. Even though most people approve of bingo there is fierce opposition to the game. In Alabama a bingo scandal has been going on for over a year. Former Alabama governor Riley, an anti gambling extremist, shot down most of the bingo halls in the state. The bingo scandal included bribes, corruption and a lot of political comedy. Things have settled down somewhat with the election of a new governor who has no objection to bingo.

Amazingly enough bingo is illegal in some states. In Hawaii the state government may turn to bingo to help fix the state’s $844 million dollar deficit. Nearly 20 gambling bills have been introduced during this session of the Hawaiian legislature.  In the past most gambling bills did not get a hearing but because the state is so cash strapped more gambling bills are getting hearings. A bill to allow bingo on Hawaiian Homelands has already passed committee and another that would allow gambling cruises came up for a vote in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Clayton Hee, a member of the judiciary committee stated, “If gaming is not part of the solution, we’ll have to consider tax increases or other forms of revenue enhancers.” As most politicians know, raising taxes is political suicide.

In the Hawaiian house Hawaiian Affairs Committee bingo was approved because there are already several games taking place in the Islands. Most Hawaiian bingo games are social in nature and most players are senior citizens. Bingo is also played at Military bases on the Islands. Faye Hanohano, a member of the Hawaiian Affairs Committee stated, “The feds, you know, they’re already doing Bingo in their jurisdictions, so the way we look at it, if they can do it, we can, too.” Bingo news sites have been following the developments in Hawaii closely. At the present time it looks like bingo will become legal on the Islands.

There are already a large number of players at internet bingo sites from Hawaii. Most Hawaiians seen bingo as a harmless diversion and say that bingo is more acceptable than Las Vegas style gambling. Hanohano stated, “You still can make money, and if you do lose, your losses shouldn’t be as great as regular gambling.” In the meantime Hawaiian bingo fans can always find a bingo site to play their favorite game.

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