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Navigating Hawaii's Gambling Laws A Complete Guide

In 1959, Hawaii emerged as the 50th state of the United States, proudly maintaining a steadfast stance against gambling activities. A distinctive feature sets Hawaii apart—here, not even bingo or horse race betting finds a legal foothold. This deliberate choice reflects the prevailing sentiment among state lawmakers, who firmly advocate for a gambling-free environment. Hawaii stands as one of only two states in the nation where legal gambling, in any form, remains entirely absent. As we delve into the domain of Hawaii's Gambling Laws, we unravel the unique tapestry of regulations that have shaped and defined this territory's unwavering commitment to a non-gambling stance.

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Overview of Online Gambling in Hawaii

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In the domain of online gambling, Hawaii maintains a resolute stance, refraining from regulating any form of gambling, including the online variant. This distinction places residents of the Aloha State in the position of seeking their gaming entertainment through offshore US online casinos. Within this digital sphere, enthusiasts can explore a diverse array of experiences, from slot machines and table games to live dealer casinos. Some platforms even extend offerings to online poker and sports wagering.

Unlike many states, Hawaii adopts a stringent approach to gambling, resulting in a notable absence of land-based gambling establishments within its borders. The absence encompasses commercial and tribal casinos, sports betting facilities, and poker rooms, creating an environment with extremely limited options for legal gambling.

Casino games, barring private social settings, remain prohibited in Hawaii. Nonetheless, the digital betting landscape remains accessible through offshore websites, with many Hawaiians opting to engage, provided the platform holds an authorized gambling permit. While the local legislation is not explicit regarding the legality of accessing international online casinos, the allure persists.

In Hawaii, the charitable gambling landscape is notably muted. Unlike in other states where activities like raffles, bingo, or casino nights often find a charitable or fundraising context, Hawaii's strict laws generally prohibit such endeavors. Even bingo halls, a common feature elsewhere, are absent, further underscoring the state's conservative approach to gambling activities. Hawaii stands as one of the nation's strictest states regarding charitable and fundraising gaming activities.

The Legal Gambling Status in Hawaii

Hawaii proudly upholds its status as a gambling-free zone, a distinction held since achieving statehood in 1959. Even seemingly innocuous activities like bingo or horse race betting are not permitted, as state lawmakers staunchly advocate for the preservation of this gambling-free ethos, considering it a societal benefit. Remarkably, Hawaii stands alongside only one other state in completely eschewing legal gambling in any form.

The absence of a state lottery underscores Hawaii's commitment to maintaining the status quo, as legislative attempts to introduce such ventures have consistently fallen short. The legal definition of gambling in Hawaii is precise, encompassing the act of staking or risking something of value on a contest of chance. While the state doesn't expressly prohibit online play, the broad prohibition extends to encompass all internet gambling activities, including paid daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests.

 

penaltyParticipation in gambling activities in Hawaii is deemed a misdemeanor, carrying penalties of up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000. The legal framework, encapsulated in Hawaii Revised Statutes 706-640 and 706-663, extends an exception to social gambling, such as poker home games. However, this affirmative defense hinges on the condition that only participants can benefit from the game, precluding any involvement of rake.

For those exploring the legal intricacies, all gambling-specific regulations are outlined in Hawaii Revised Statutes 712-1220 et seq., providing a comprehensive framework. Notably, the minimum age for participation in social gambling is set at 18, further delineating the parameters within which such activities may occur.

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License for Online Casinos in Hawaii

In alignment with its stringent stance against gambling, Hawaii maintains a distinct absence of any licensing framework for online casinos. The state's unwavering commitment to a gambling-free environment extends to the digital realm, where no provision for licensing online casinos exists. The legal landscape in Hawaii is characterized by a resolute prohibition on gambling activities, leaving no room for the establishment or regulation of online casinos within its borders. Consequently, the absence of a licensing mechanism reflects the broader policy of maintaining a gambling-free zone, reinforcing the state's commitment to restricting all forms of gambling, including the online domain.

History and Timeline for Hawaii Online Gambling

historyThe history of online gambling in Hawaii is marked by a series of legislative developments that underscore the state's steadfast commitment to resisting the legalization of gambling activities. In 2010, a pivotal moment saw Hawaii lawmakers rejecting a bill that sought to introduce casinos within the state. Two years later, in 2012, a proposal aiming to regulate online poker met a similar fate as it was rejected by legislative authorities.

Fast forward to 2017, and the Hawaii Legislature grappled with two senate bills contemplating the regulation of various online gambling options, including the potential introduction of an internet lottery. However, these deliberations did not translate into concrete regulatory measures. In 2021, a notable deviation occurred when a proposal for a casino resort in Kapolei received approval, signaling a rare instance of potential change in the state's gambling landscape.

The legislative journey continued in 2019 with the introduction of another gaming measure, House Bill 1107, reflecting ongoing discussions surrounding gambling policies in Hawaii. The most recent development in 2022 comes in the form of Rep. John Mizuno's proposal, House Bill 1815, aiming to usher in legal sports betting in the state. This proposal adds a contemporary dimension to the historical timeline, indicating an evolving discourse around the regulation of specific forms of gambling in Hawaii.

Legal Gambling Forms in Hawaii

Hawaii maintains a distinctive position in the United States as a jurisdiction devoid of any legal gambling forms. The state's legal landscape staunchly opposes the legalization of gambling activities, resulting in a unique environment where no form of gambling is sanctioned or permitted. Unlike many other states that embrace various gambling options, Hawaii stands alone as a jurisdiction where no legal framework exists for any type of gambling. Whether it's traditional casino games, sports betting, poker, or even a state lottery, the absence of legalized gambling forms underscores the state's unwavering commitment to maintaining a gambling-free zone. This exceptional stance sets Hawaii apart as one of the few states where residents and visitors alike do not have access to any legally sanctioned gambling activities.

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Hawaii Online Casinos

In the absence of local regulation and legalization, Hawaii does not have its own online casinos. However, players from the state can explore international online casinos and crypto casinos to partake in virtual gaming experiences.
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Hawaii Sports Betting

Sports betting remains illegal in Hawaii, in line with the state's stringent approach to gambling. Unlike some U.S. states that have embraced the legalization of sports betting, Hawaii has yet to enact legislation permitting this form of gambling.
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Hawaii Online Poker

In Hawaii, poker, like many other forms of gambling, is illegal under the state's strict anti-gambling laws. The Aloha State has consistently maintained a stringent approach to various gambling activities, prohibiting the existence of commercial and tribal casinos, sports betting, and poker rooms.
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Hawaii Bingo

Hawaii's stringent gambling laws extend even to seemingly benign activities such as Bingo, placing it firmly within the realm of illegal gambling within the state. Unlike some jurisdictions where charitable or social Bingo events may find exemption, Hawaii's regulations make no such distinctions.
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Hawaii Charitable Gaming

Charitable and house-based gambling face considerable restrictions in Hawaii, positioning the state as one of the most stringent in the United States regarding these activities. Unlike many other jurisdictions where fundraising events such as raffles, bingo, or casino nights are common and legally permissible for charitable purposes, Hawaii's legal framework provides little leeway for such endeavors.
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Hawaii Lotteries

Hawaii stands as one of the few U.S. states that does not have a state-sponsored lottery. In contrast to many states that utilize lotteries as a means of generating revenue for public programs and initiatives, Hawaii has maintained its steadfast opposition to this form of gambling.
fantasy sports

Hawaii Daily Fantasy Sports

Hawaii maintains a stance of prohibition on Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS), rendering such activities illegal within the state. The absence of legislation explicitly permitting DFS places it in the category of prohibited gambling practices in Hawaii.
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Hawaii Prohibited Gambling Activities

Hawaii's approach to gambling distinguishes itself markedly from the norm found in many states, maintaining a rigorously stringent stance that results in the conspicuous absence of traditional gambling establishments within its borders. Neither commercial nor tribal casinos, sports betting facilities, nor poker rooms dot the landscape of the Aloha State.

Check Out These Online Casinos Available in Hawaii

Explore the world of online casinos available in Hawaii, where enthusiasts can engage in thrilling gaming experiences on offshore platforms. These digital havens offer a diverse range of games, including slot machines, table games, live dealer casinos, online poker, and sports wagering. As Hawaii maintains a strict stance against gambling within its borders, residents and visitors turn to these offshore online casinos to satisfy their gaming desires. While the legal landscape in Hawaii doesn't explicitly address the use of international online casinos, many players choose these platforms for their entertainment.

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Legalization of Bingo in Hawaii

bingo iconBingo, a beloved game of chance in many jurisdictions, remains firmly on the list of prohibited activities in Hawaii. The Aloha State, known for its stringent stance against gambling, has not extended any legal recognition to bingo, leaving enthusiasts without a sanctioned avenue for participation. Despite its popularity elsewhere as a social and often charitable gambling activity, the legalization of bingo remains elusive in Hawaii. State lawmakers, adhering to the broader policy of maintaining a gambling-free zone, have yet to entertain proposals or initiatives seeking the legalization of this traditional game within the state.

Legalization of Blackjack in Hawaii

blackjack iconThe prospect of legalizing blackjack, a classic and widely enjoyed card game, faces insurmountable challenges in Hawaii. The state's unequivocal stance against gambling extends to include casino favorites like blackjack. As of now, there are no provisions within Hawaii's legal framework that allow for the legalization and regulation of blackjack or any other casino-style card games. The absence of land-based casinos further emphasizes the state's commitment to maintaining its gambling-free ethos, making the legalization of blackjack in Hawaii an unlikely proposition.

Legalization of Lotteries in Hawaii

lottery

Lotteries, a common form of gambling entertainment in many states, remain strictly prohibited in Hawaii. The state's historical commitment to a gambling-free environment extends to the realm of lotteries, where there is no legal framework for their operation. Unlike in jurisdictions where lotteries contribute to state revenue and public funding, Hawaii continues to resist any moves toward the legalization of lotteries. State lawmakers, influenced by the broader policy of restricting all forms of gambling, have consistently rejected proposals seeking the introduction of lotteries within the Aloha State.

Hawaii Parimutuel Betting

Horse Racing Icon

The concept of parimutuel betting, a popular form of wagering on horse racing in various states, remains illegal in Hawaii. The state's gambling-free status encompasses not only casino-style activities but also extends to betting on horse races. With no legal provisions allowing for parimutuel betting, residents and visitors in Hawaii do not have a sanctioned avenue for participating in this traditional form of wagering. The absence of horse race betting facilities within the state reinforces Hawaii's commitment to its gambling-free zone, making parimutuel betting an illegal activity within its borders.

Hawaii Prohibited Gambling Activities

Responsible Gambling

Hawaii maintains a comprehensive list of prohibited gambling activities, reflecting its unwavering commitment to a gambling-free environment. The state's legal framework explicitly restricts a broad spectrum of gaming pursuits, encompassing traditional casino games, sports betting, poker, lotteries, and bingo. Engaging in any form of gambling, whether in land-based establishments or online platforms, is considered illegal under Hawaii law. The strict regulations extend to cover both commercial and tribal gambling enterprises, creating a jurisdiction where no legal gambling forms exist. The state's stringent approach results in severe penalties for those found in violation, with misdemeanor charges carrying potential fines and jail time. Hawaii's stance on prohibited gambling activities underscores its unique position as one of the few states in the United States with an across-the-board rejection of legalized gambling in any form.

Gambling in Hawaii – Licensing, Tax and Fees

 

illegalUnlike states that have embraced regulated gambling and established licensing frameworks, Hawaii maintains a distinct absence of such provisions. The state's unwavering commitment to a gambling-free environment is reflected in the absence of any licensing structure for gambling activities. Consequently, there are no associated taxes or fees specific to gambling operations within the Aloha State. The absence of a legal gambling landscape eliminates the need for regulatory oversight, taxation structures, or licensing fees that are commonplace in jurisdictions where gambling is sanctioned. Hawaii's unique position as a state with no legal gambling forms contributes to a landscape where the conventional financial aspects tied to gambling—such as licensing fees and taxes—are entirely non-existent.

Important Questions for Gambling Laws of Hawaii

Is online gambling legal in Hawaii?

No, online gambling is not legal in Hawaii. The state maintains a strict and unequivocal stance against all forms of gambling, including online activities. As of now, there are no provisions within Hawaii's legal framework that permit or regulate online gambling. Residents and visitors should be aware that engaging in online gambling, even on offshore platforms, is considered illegal in Hawaii. The state's commitment to a gambling-free environment extends to the digital sphere, making it imperative for individuals to refrain from participating in any online gambling activities within the Aloha State to avoid legal consequences.

What is the minimum age requirement for engaging in online casinos, sports betting, and poker in Hawaii?

In Hawaii, where all forms of gambling, including online casinos, sports betting, and poker, are illegal, there is no specified minimum age requirement. The state's stringent anti-gambling laws prohibit residents and visitors from engaging in any form of gambling activities, both within land-based establishments and on digital platforms. As a result, there is no legal framework in place to establish age restrictions for these activities. It is essential to be aware that participating in online casinos, sports betting, or poker, regardless of age, is not only illegal but may also lead to legal consequences in accordance with Hawaii's strict gambling regulations.

How does parimutuel betting work in Hawaii?

Parimutuel betting does not operate in Hawaii as it is strictly illegal within the state. The legal framework in Hawaii prohibits various forms of gambling, including activities like parimutuel betting, which involves wagering on horse races. As a result, there are no facilities or mechanisms in place for parimutuel betting within Hawaii's borders. Residents and visitors should be aware that engaging in parimutuel betting or any other form of gambling, even if it involves horse racing, is not only against the law but also subject to legal consequences in accordance with Hawaii's stringent gambling regulations.

What types of gambling are legally permissible in Hawaii?

Hawaii has adopted an exceptionally strict stance against gambling, and as of now, there are no forms of gambling that are legally permissible within the state. The absence of legalized gambling includes traditional casino games, sports betting, poker, lotteries, bingo, and any other wagering activities. Hawaii stands as one of the few states in the United States with a comprehensive rejection of legalized gambling in any form. It's crucial for residents and visitors to recognize and adhere to the state's gambling laws, as engaging in any gambling activities, whether in person or online, is considered illegal and may result in legal consequences.

Which regulatory bodies oversee gambling activities in Hawaii?

As of now, there are no regulatory bodies overseeing gambling activities in Hawaii. The state has consistently maintained a gambling-free environment, and as a result, there are no official agencies or regulatory bodies established to monitor or regulate any form of gambling within the Aloha State. Unlike states with legalized gambling, Hawaii does not have a gaming control board or similar regulatory authority overseeing the industry. Residents and visitors should be aware that engaging in any gambling activities in Hawaii is not only illegal but also lacks the oversight and regulation typically associated with legalized gambling jurisdictions.

Gabriela Kirilova

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Gabriela Kirilova | Content Specialist/Slot Expert

Gabriela Kirilova is a senior gaming analyst at CasinoLandia. If it looks like a slot, rings like a slot, or spins like a slot, then Gabriela will know about it. She is our Chief Slot Reviewer, and Analyzer.
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