Hawaii used to be one of the most popular gambling destinations in the US back in the fifties, but that didn’t stop the local legislators from pushing increasingly restrictive anti-gambling regulations. Nowadays Hawaii is one of the two states that don’t offer any forms of regulated real money gaming. Much like Utah, The Aloha State doesn’t even have its own lottery.
Charitable gambling also isn’t allowed, but playing in private is perfectly legal as long as there is no rake involved. This means that Hawaii residents and visitors who want to play traditional casino games or poker are essentially forced to stick to home games or to rely on the services of offshore gambling operators that continue to accept customers from the United States.
Gambling in Hawaii
If you are looking for great beaches, better weather, wonderful food, and people filled with the spirit of aloha, a Hawaiian vacation is for you. If, however, you want to visit a casino and place a few bets while on your vacation, Hawaiians say, “I aloha aku oe.” (No, thank you.)
Gambling is illegal in America’s 50th state, and there are no casinos on any of the islands. It’s even illegal to gamble on cruise ships that are sailing in Hawaiian waters. State officials estimate there are around 100 illegal gambling operations on Oahu, and shutting them down is a top priority.
Hawaii Online Casinos
Hawaii gambling regulations are somewhat outdated, so it should come as no surprise that none of the local laws address the issue of internet gambling directly. Unlicensed gambling, in general, is considered a minor misdemeanor. However, it’s impossible to determine whether this applies to online play, as this issue has never been tackled by a local court due to the fact that the authorities have never tried prosecuting individual online gamblers. As a result, most experts agree that joining the action at an online sports betting site, casino or poker room is perfectly safe for Hawaii residents or tourists.
Getting the most bang for your buck isn’t all that hard when you know what makes a gambling site really worthwhile. In the case of poker rooms, the key factor is the amount of traffic they get. High-traffic networks are guaranteed to offer 24/7 cash games and great tournaments with large guaranteed prizes, while low-traffic poker rooms will simply get you frustrated as you stare at the empty tables. Casinos are somewhat different, as you should be looking for reliability and bonuses.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest sites usually turn out to be the most trustworthy ones. The same holds true for sportsbooks, as the ones owned by major iGaming operators usually give you access to more markets while simultaneously offering better prices than the competition.
Casinos in Hawaii
Don’t look for casinos anytime soon. Even the most recent effort by legislators to legalize online casinos died quickly on the vine.
Hawaii Sportsbooks & Sports Betting
Sports betting, like all betting, is illegal in Hawaii.
There is an expectation a bill will be introduced in the next legislative session, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling allowing states to set their own laws regarding sports betting. However, state Senate President Ron Kouchi said, “It’s too premature to say if the legislature or the public would be in support of it.”
Legalized sports betting remains a possibility for the state, but getting there would likely be a long and challenging road.
Fantasy Sports Gambling
Social gambling, like playing in a fantasy football league with your friends, is allowed by Hawaii law. Daily fantasy sports (DFS) that involve hundreds or thousands of people are illegal. SB204 was introduced in 2017 with the goal of changing that law, but it’s been stuck in limbo since then, and no vote has been held.
Until the state makes it legal for DFS companies to operate under defined regulations, local players will remain blocked from accessing DFS sites.
There is no legal horse racing, and the state hasn’t had a race track since the late 1940s.
A few revival bills have been attempted over the last several years, but all of them have failed.
Greyhound racing is also illegal, and the state does not allow off-track betting of any kind.
Hawaii Poker Games
Poker is legal in Hawaii, with a caveat. It must be played in a private residence, and no one can make a profit (not even from selling food or drinks). Be careful about getting involved in a game that violates these requirements. Unlike many states, they are very serious about enforcing the gambling laws.
Online poker in Hawaii is also illegal.
Hawaii is one of just six states that does not conduct a legal lottery. It was brought up again in the 2018 legislative session in terms of creating a three-year pilot program to help fund fixes to the state’s growing homelessness crisis.
Like all efforts to legalize gambling, it’s expected to meet stiff resistance.
Their strict stance against gambling even extends to the world of bingo. There are no legal bingo games, and they do not have a charitable carveout in their gambling statutes like most other states.
Hawaii Online Gambling FAQ
How Do I Get Started?
Getting started is really easy! All you need to do is visit the site that you’d like to join, fill out a short registration form by providing some basic personal information and provide the site’s staff with a proof of identity if you want to play for real money. Once your account has been properly set up, you’ll have to make your first deposit. This requires you to open the cashier menu, pick one of the available banking methods and finalize the transaction – almost like in a typical internet shop.
How Do I Get My Money if I Win?
The funds tied to your on-site account remain at your disposal, so you’re free to request a payout via the aforementioned cashier menu at your convenience. The procedure is very simple – pick the cash out method that you’d like to use, enter the amount of money that you’d like to receive and confirm your request, which will then be processed by the site’s staff. All in all, you should receive your money within 10 or 12 days if you go for a wire transfer.
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Hawaii?
Most Hawaii-facing sites require their customers to be at least 18 years old.
How do I open an account?
The procedure is simple. Visit the site, click the registration button, input your basic personal information and submit the form. If you want to gamble for real money, you’ll have submitted to an identity check – most sites require you to send a photo or scan of an ID document.
Where can I open my account from?
Hawaii-friendly sites usually don’t require you to be present within the borders of the state, so anywhere in the US should be fine.
From where can I access Hawaii online gambling sites?
Most gambling sites won’t block your connection regardless of the state that you try to play from but keep in mind that participating in online gambling as a player is a felony in Utah and Washington.
Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in Hawaii?
We recommend that you read Section 712 of the Hawaii Code.
How do I deposit to my online gambling account?
You can make a deposit via the cashier menu. Most sites prefer credit card payments and support MasterCard and Visa.
How do I withdraw my winnings?
Use the cashier menu. Enter the amount of money that you’d like to withdraw, pick one of the available cash out methods and confirm your request. Usually, you’ll have to choose between a wire transfer and a check delivered by courier.
Is my money safe?
Yes, as long as you don’t send your money to a rogue site operated by scammers. If you aren’t sure which sites are safe, you should stick to the operators listed here.
What body regulates gambling in Hawaii?
Hawaii doesn’t have any regulated gambling, so there’s no regulatory body.