Hawaiian gambling laws are as restrictive as any in the United States. In fact, only one state can match Hawaii for its comprehensive ban on gambling: Utah. Both states have 100% prohibition of gambling. In Hawaii, people cannot legally gamble in casinos, sportsbooks, bingo halls, or race tracks. Online casinos and card rooms are undoubtedly banned. No form of gambling is legal.
Interestingly, the chance that Hawaii might one day legalize online gambling seems much greater than the same prospect in Utah. Unlike Utah, Hawaiian lawmakers sometimes have sponsored bills to legalize Internet gambling, such as Michelle Kidani’s Senate Bill 677 in 2018. Those measures never have gotten much traction, but it indicates that realistic politicians believe in the possibility. For the time being, though, Hawaiian gambling laws ban all forms of gaming.
We’ve listed our favorite casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites accepting players from Hawaii below. Pick a site and start playing!
Hawaiian online gamblers play for real money at offshore online casinos. Authorities do not prosecute residents who gamble online in the privacy of their own home, though they cannot operate betting businesses for profit. Because it’s an unregulated gaming market, bettors must research the gaming market to find safe and legal casino sites. To find trustworthy sites, read our honest casino reviews.
Hawaii maintains a 100% ban on gambling, though law enforcement does not arrest, charge, or prosecute individuals who bet online for real money. Several familiar with Hawaiian state politician have predicted a sports betting law which would legalized, license, regulate, and tax land-based sportsbooks. How that might happen without land-based casinos is another matter, though Hawaii might use betting kiosks the way Washington, DC plans to do. For the time being, though, sports betting and daily fantasy sports do not appear to be on the table. Online sports bettors who sign up with offshore bookmaker sites won’t face legal jeopardy, though.
Individual online poker players won’t be prosecuted, though you can’t own an online poker site. Regulated online poker has its supporters. Senate Bill 677 proposed to legalize online gambling in Hawaii, but it failed to gain traction in the 2017 legislative session. State Senator Michelle Kidani’s bill was the latest in a series of Hawaii online poker bills, but nothing ever came of them. It is obvious that Hawaiians enjoy online gambling.
Yes. Social casino sites do not involve real money gambling, so playing free-to-play casino games on Facebook is legal. Players will find sites social games like Zynga, Double Down Casino, Slotomania, and Big Fish Games to be legal in Hawaii. Players can also download an Android or iOS social casino app. Private card games among friends is considered legal. Social gaming in which a rake or a fee is not charged is legal. If you try to make a profit off your weekly poker game, you’ll be busted. Social games are banned if they take place in a Hawaiian bar, hotel, or restaurant.
Bovada is the best online sportsbook for Hawaii residents. When you make a first deposit at Bovada, you’ll receive a $250 welcome bonus. Bovada features a full range of NFL football, MLB baseball, NBA basketball, and other American sports. Hawaiians can make NCAA football bets in the autumn, while making NCAA basketball bets during March Madness.
Hawaii bans casino gambling, lottery betting, and pari-mutuel wagering, so there is no offical age limit. At the same time, Hawaii allows social gambling and sets a minimum age of 18. Online gambling sites have an age limit of 18, too.
Hawaiians who want a trustworthy online casino should try Ignition Casino. Ignition offers a $1000 welcome bonus with a competitive 25x wagering requirement. Ignition Casino has over 230 online slots, dozens of table games, video poker, and specialty games. Those who enjoy online poker also have access to an online cardroom, while live dealer games now are available.
Ignition Poker is the best online cardroom for Hawaii poker players. Ignition features a $1000 welcome bonus for new players. It also features Zone Poker to keep the game moving along, along with anonymous tables to assure casual players aren’t targeted by poker pros. Ignition has $150K guaranteed weekly poker tournaments, $2500 weekly freerolls, and $1.5 million per week in guaranteed prize money. Players can enjoy large freezeout tournaments, turbo events, sit-and-go events, monster stack poker tournaments, and jackpot sit-and-go’s (for mobile poker players).
A quick breakdown of Hawaii gambling laws.
“Staking or risking something of value upon outcome of a contest of chance or uncontrollable future contingent event in order to receive something of value.”
“Gambling on Ships: Gambling aboard ships illegal. Possession of gambling devices, e.g. slot machines, illegal.”
“Gambling Paraphernalia and Gambling Promotion: Possession of gambling records, promoting gambling, bookmaking, illegal. Social gambling permitted as long as not committed in a hotel, motel, bar, nightclub, or any business establishment or public place. Must be of majority age.”
Gambling is defined as staking something of value on a contest of chance. Hawaii’s laws place a lot of emphasis on gambling paraphernalia. Casino cruises are rendered illegal because it is illegal to have slot machines and other gambling devices on a ship, whether gambling is taking place on the ship or not. Social gaming is legal, though it is barred from hotels, bars, and nightclubs.
“‘Contest of chance’ means any contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.”
“‘Gambling’. A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. Gambling does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, including but not limited to contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health, or accident insurance.”
“‘Bookmaking’ means advancing gambling activity by accepting bets from members of the public upon the outcomes of future contingent events.”
Hawaii’s latest laws on gambling set out definitions for bookmaker, contests of chance, and general gambling. As you might imagine, every conceivable form of gambling is banned. If it has a “material degree upon an element of chance”, the game is considered gambling. Skill games like darts and billiards are legal, though.
“A person ‘advances gambling activity’ if he engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity.”
“Conduct of this nature includes but is not limited to conduct directed toward the creation or establishment of the particular game, contest, scheme, device, or activity involved, toward the acquisition or maintenance of premises, paraphernalia, equipment, or apparatus therefor, toward the solicitation or inducement of persons to participate therein, toward the actual conduct of the playing phases thereof, toward the arrangement of any of its financial or recording phases, or toward any other phase of its operation.”
Almost anyone involved in a gambling den’s operation is considered to have “advanced gambling activity”. That means the manager of the operation, but also the person who owns the building in which the gambling takes place. It’s an important distinction, because in other jurisdictions, landlords have claimed (sometimes with justification) they had no idea their tenant was operating an illegal gambling den. Hawaii doesn’t give much leeway to landlords.