HONOLULU (AP) You’re not just playing a casino: You’re playing a big one.
Casinos have been popping up in the Pacific Northwest for decades, but this year, the latest wave has been on the Big Island of Hawaii.
The Honolulu casino is a massive, nearly 900,000-square-foot complex that was built in 1959 and includes more than 500 slot machines, billiards tables and a food court.
It also offers two hours of free gaming for people 18 and older.
“We wanted to bring in something that was new, something that we could be proud of,” said John Kwan, chief executive of the Hawaiian Gaming Association, which manages the project.
The group is a not-for-profit group that helps fund and manage the casino.
Its opening is part of a larger effort to revive the gambling industry in the Big Apple, after years of declines in the gambling population.
More than 1.3 million people played at least one slot machine last year, up 15 percent from 2016, according to the National Association of Gaming Centers.
The number of adults playing games increased by nearly 1 million, to 2.2 million.
Kwan says the $1 billion project, known as the HGA, is not intended to replace Hawaii’s slot machine industry, which has been struggling to keep up with a shrinking population.
He says Hawaii’s population is still just shy of 50,000 people, and the city is on pace to reach 100,000 in 2022.
The HGA has partnered with the Honolulu Police Department to promote its slot machine program, which it calls “the best in the nation.”
The city also has installed new cameras that are more accurate and better able to track when people are playing and when they’re not.
“This is a place where we want people to come, not a place that’s supposed to be a place for gambling,” Kwan said.
Casino operator Rival, which operates two casinos in the state, said it has been overwhelmed by requests for gaming hours and has set up a secure email and mobile chat service to help customers navigate the system.
The company says it’s also partnering with local gaming companies to develop games and services, including the ability to accept cash for cards and cashier checks.
Klaner said the HGs newest game, called Big Game, is similar to the slot machines in Hawaii.
“It’s about gambling, but with a little more heart,” he said.
It’s a good game.
It’s a little bit more complex than slot machines.
You’ve got to understand how to play it.
You get your money in a slot machine and you get your food in a vending machine and it’s a lot more complex.
“Klaners game, which he said he can’t reveal because of the pending litigation, has been played by hundreds of people at his casino and has been very successful.
Kwan estimates he’s spent more than $150,000 on the project so far.”
I’m so happy to see it going so well,” Klaner, who owns and operates the Honolulu casino, said.
This is the time to put our cards on the table, to be proactive, to keep the casino going,” Kogan said.