Business / In Brief • Apr. 10, 2013

Big Island says no to high-stakes bingo

HILO, Hawaii – The Big Island’s County Council has rejected a proposal to use high-stakes bingo to raise revenue.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald says the proposal was put forward by councilwoman Margaret Wille who said that high-stakes bingo is different from casino gambling because it’s not a 24-hour operation and has much lower stakes.

But councilwoman Brenda Ford said at a meeting Monday that the costs to society and government are too high. She says for every dollar raised by bingo, another $3 is spent on social issues caused by gambling.

Mayor Billy Kenoi has proposed a $370.8 million no-new-taxes budget that ends monthly employee furloughs while holding the line on departmental spending.

The County Council is working this week on the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1.