Hawaii Casinos & Gambling

Gambling Age in Hawaii:

Social Gaming 18+

Hawaii

Hawaii Gambling Overview

Social gaming is the only form of gambling permitted in Hawaii. Hawaiians who enjoy gambling have found a second home in Las Vegas, with thousands flying there every year. Illegal gambling, which includes card houses, cockfighting, and sportsbooks, is thriving in Hawaii.

Hawaii is one of two states that prohibits any form of gambling, with the other being Utah. This means no land-based casinos, including tribal and commercial. Not even gambling ships departing from a Hawaiian Island to international waters are permitted. Pari-mutuels, horse racing, and sports betting are also prohibited. The same is true of all forms of online gambling and fantasy sports/daily fantasy sports.

Gambling is a criminal offense in Hawaii punishable by jail time. Some forms of punishment are more severe, including holding lotteries or games for personal profit.

Social Gaming

  • 712-1231 defines social gambling as a competition on equal terms where only players can profit. It cannot be played in a nightclub, bar, hotel, motel, billiard parlor, massage parlor, cocktail lounge, restaurant, or any business establishment or public property.

Hawaii Gambling History

In 2016, Attorney General Doug Chin decided that fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports were illegal in Hawaii. He concluded that these were games of chance outside of a player’s control, falling under the definition of gambling.

Almost 10 years ago, the House Judiciary Committee of Hawaii and the House Economic Revitalization and Business Committee favored legalizing gambling. However, it was rejected by the legislature. Before that, poker tournaments, games of skill, and poker internet sites) where servers would be based in the state) were considered for legalization but failed to materialize.

Near the end of 2020, the state drafted a legislative proposal (HB No. 359) for a resort & casino on a Department of Hawaiian Home Lands-owned resort (DHHL) property in Kapolei. This would also mean the establishment of a Hawaii Games Commission. The proposal’s motivation would be to help plug the DHHL’s almost $200 million/year budget deficit. There has been plenty of opposition, including concerns about opening the floodgates to tribal casinos in Hawaii.

Several Bills have been introduced in the 2021 legislative session. SB No. 853, SB No. 561, and HB No. 363 proposed establishing a Hawaii state lottery within the budget and finance department. Although the original proposal was for a January 1, 2022 launch date, it was pushed back to 2023 for more study.

HB No. 457 would study whether two casinos in West Oahu would be feasible and other legalized gambling forms, including a state lottery or offshore gambling.

On February 18, 2021, HB No. 1321, which would have allowed the Hawaiian Homes Commission to decide on allowing lottery, casino bingo, pari-mutuels, or horse racing, was deferred until 2026. Furthermore, HB No. 772 allowing a Vegas-style casino on top of the Hawaii Convention Center, was delayed. This casino would have targeted tourists as opposed to locals. HB No. 736 (digital sports betting platform pilot program) and HB No. 383 (creation of a state poker commission overseeing live poker) were also deferred.

Hawaii Gambling FAQ

Does Hawaii have land-based casinos?

No, Hawaii does not have any land-based casinos. This means no tribal casinos and no commercial casinos. Even casino cruise ships leaving from or ending in Hawaii, offering gambling in international waters, are prohibited.

Does Hawaii offer state or multistate lotteries?

No, Hawaii does not have a state lottery.

Is online gambling legal in Hawaii?

Online gambling in Hawaii is prohibited.

Is sports betting legal in Hawaii?

No, sports betting in Hawaii is not legal.

What forms of gambling in Hawaii are legal?

Hawaii prohibits all forms of gambling in the state, making them just one of two states. The only accepted form is social gaming.

Are fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports legal in Hawaii?

No, Hawaii has determined that fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports are illegal. Sites including DraftKings and FanDuel no longer accept players from Hawaii. This was not considered a massive blow to the providers due to a generally low interest in sports.

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