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Bahama Paradise in Hawaii Casino Resort

4 February 2001

HAWAII – Feb. 4, 2001 –As reported by the Honolulu Star-Bulletin: "On Paradise Island in the Bahamas, you can launch yourself off a six-story water slide that goes through a Plexiglas tube surrounded by sharks before depositing you in a safe lagoon.

"You can play explorer and discover the ersatz mysteries of the lost civilization of Atlantis or nibble world-class cuisine in one of 40 restaurants.

"And you can also do a little gambling.

"Those are some of the amenities of Atlantis and the Ocean Club, two properties developed by Sun International at a cost estimated at $1 billion.

"Now, Butch Kerzner, president of Sun International, is looking at Hawaii. Kerzner, a South African who now divides his time between New York and the Bahamas, briefed some key legislators Thursday on his plans for an $800 million resort and casino at Ko Olina.

"He is asking the Legislature to allow gambling on a single piece of property, in return for which the state would assess the casino a tax or charge, which could be applied to college scholarships.

"…Kerzner thinks the combination of a world-class resort and casino would be a natural in Hawaii, especially considering the Japanese tourist market.

"…The benefit for Hawaii would be in helping to stimulate the economy with a huge two- or three-year-long construction project, the extra 5,000 or so jobs in the resort and the thousands of extra jobs created by the mega-resort.

"…Gambling critics, however, say that letting any legalized casino gambling into Hawaii would be a serious mistake.

"Opponents warn that the first casino would just be a step in legalizing gambling across the state and bringing in the social ills of organized crime and compulsive gambling…"

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