Gambling in Hawaii
Gambling Laws in Hawaii are relatively strict, prohibiting wagering on horse-or-dog-races and gambling in casinos of any kind. Only Utah has gambling laws as strict as Hawaii and no sports betting, no casinos, no lottery, nor online casinos exist.
In good news, gambling in Hawaii does on-the-other-hand allow for legal social poker home games as long as no-one profits (even from selling beverages or food).
Hawaii Casino Gambling
As for casinos, there is not a single land-based casino in the island state of Hawaii, nor is gambling on cruise ships out of Hawaii legal either for the time being.
Other than certain forms of “social gambling” in which the house takes no profit either directly or indirectly through fees, food sales, entertainment charges, etc., to operate an illegal casino comes with strict laws and state enforcement.
It is worthwhile-to-note that in Hawaii, it is also considered a crime to participate in casino gambling as a player. Section §712-1223 of the Hawaiian State Statute considers it a misdemeanor offense for a person to knowingly participate in any casino gambling activity. Possible punitive punishment for a casino gambling misdemeanor in the state of Hawaii is up to a maximum of 1 year in jail and fines to a maximum of $2000.
Online Casinos in Hawaii
Online betting is also illegal in the Aloha State. It is illegal for ‘anyone to accept or place wagers or host poker or other casino games over the internet for residents.’
Which Online Casinos Are legal in Hawaii?
All potential online players in the state of Hawaii should accept that online gambling is against state law and as such, avoid playing both off-shore and U.S-based online casinos whilst in the region Hawaiian Islands.
Poker in Hawaii
Live Poker can’t be enjoyed legally in Hawaii for the purposes of gambling for real money.
While Poker Rooms and legal casinos are definitely not part of the Island State’s attractions, Hawaii’s residents and visitors can take part in social ‘home’ poker games as long as no-one is making a financial benefit (by gambling, charging entrance fees, or selling drinks and food) by hosting the games.
Online Poker Laws
Online Poker is a still unavailable for Hawaii’s online players at this time. For an in-depth explanation on the legal status of all online gambling in Hawaii, please refer to the above section on ‘Online Casinos in Hawaii’.
Benefits of Legal Gambling to Hawaii
- With no revenue streams available from legalized gambling, Hawaii’s State Government could do well to legalize the practice.
- Further State Government Revenue (as a value-added attraction to Hawaii’s millions of annual tourist visitors) could be generated by the state’s tourism sector with legalized gambling.
- Legalized gambling could be an excellent and viable source of additional Hawaiian State Government income and provide the Island State with vast revenue streams to pay for positive education outcomes, improvements in the state’s health system, and better security and law-and-order services for the state’s residents of Hawaii.
History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Hawaii
1883-1914; Horse Racing at Kapioloania Park Racetrack.
1939; Horse Racing at Oahu Jockey Club.
1939-1949; Horse Racing at Kailua Racetrack.
1959; Legal attempts to revive Horse Racing fail.
2011; Poker rejected as a Game of Skill in Hawaii.
2013; Online Casino and Lottery introduction bill fails to pass State Legislature (SB 768)
2016; DFS outlawed in Hawaii, as considered ‘gambling’ by the state’s legislators.
2017; Online Casino and Lottery introduction bill fails to pass State Legislature (Senate Bill 677)
2017; DFS re-legalization bill (Bill SB 204) was introduced to the Hawaiian Senate. Debate is ongoing.
Visit our Hawaii Online Sports Betting page for more information on legal online sportsbooks in Hawaii