Are there any forms of gambling in Hawaii that are legal?
Hawaii is one of two states (along with Utah) that does not permit any form of legal commercial gambling.
Home poker games and social gaming like fantasy sports contests and cribbage tournaments among friends are legal in Hawaii. Any form of commercial gambling is illegal. Charities may not offer bingo or raffles. There is no state lottery, and sports betting in Hawaii remains illegal.
Cruise ships that begin or end a voyage in Hawaii may not spread casino-style games on the boat.
Las Vegas is a top tourist destination for Hawaii residents. That is where most residents go to gamble. Several airlines fly this popular route. Boyd Gaming shuttles players to and from the islands. Las Vegas is often referred to as the Ninth Island in Hawaii.
This list shows the types of gambling found in Hawaii and where to find it:
- Social gaming (house may not take a rake, must in social residential setting)
Online Gambling in Hawaii
There are no forms of legal online gambling in Hawaii. This applies to both live and online forms.
Online Gambling Laws in Hawaii
Section §712-1220 of the Hawaii Statutes makes risking something of value on a contest of chance or future contingent event outside the bettor’s control a crime. It is a misdemeanor. While Hawaii law does not specifically mention online gambling, the state attorney general has opined that it does.
Land-based Casinos in Hawaii
There are no land-based casinos in Hawaii. This includes cruise ships. Most residents that want to gamble take a direct flight to Las Vegas. Online casinos are also illegal in Hawaii.
Casino Laws in Hawaii
Casinos in Hawaii are illegal. This is done through the outlawing of betting on games of chance in Section §712-1220 of the Hawaii Statutes. This law also applies to the internet. No serious discussion to legalize casinos in Hawaii has ever materialized. The state prefers to concentrate on its traditional tourism industry.
Sports Betting in Hawaii
Sports betting is illegal in Hawaii. This includes live bookmaking and sports betting sites.
Sports Betting Laws in Hawaii
Section §712-1220 of the Hawaii Statutes forbids making a wager on a future contingent event. This includes sports.
Poker in Hawaii
Poker is considered gambling in Hawaii. All forms of commercial gambling are illegal in the state. Online poker is also illegal.
Poker Laws in Hawaii
Section §712-1220 of the Hawaii Statutes makes live poker illegal as it is making a wager on an outcome beyond the control of the participant. Online poker is covered by the same law. Some attempts were made by lawmakers to legalize online poker in Hawaii around 2010. These efforts received no serious consideration.
Home Poker Games
Section §712-1231 of the Hawaii Statutes allows for gambling exceptions if done in a social setting. Home poker games and many other forms of social gaming are permitted in Hawaii under certain conditions. A home poker game or other form of social gaming must be in a residential structure or park setting. The house may not profit off the game or provide any form of complimentary goods or services to players. The game must be fair and not related to bookmaking of sports or racing events. All participants must be at least 18 years of age.
Fantasy Sports in Hawaii
Fantasy sports sites operated in Hawaii until 2016. That is when the state attorney general published an opinion stating that fantasy sports contests are not a game of skill under Hawaii law. This made commercial contests where a fee is taken illegal under state law. All daily fantasy sports sites withdrew from Hawaii once that opinion was released.
Fantasy Sports Laws in Hawaii
There are no laws that specifically address fantasy sports contests in Hawaii. In 2016, Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin issued a formal advisory opinion stating that fantasy sports violate state law when operated as a commercial venture. All daily fantasy sports companies left Hawaii after this opinion was issued.
Hawaii is one of five states without a lottery. The others are Alabama, Alaska, Nevada and Utah.
Hawaii Lottery Laws
Section §712-1220 of the Hawaii Statutes forbids placing bets on games of chance.
Hawaii Horse Racing Betting
Betting on any form of race is illegal in Hawaii. This applies to live race books and online ones.
Hawaii Horse Racing Laws
Section §712-1220 of the Hawaii Statutes forbids placing wagers on contingent events like a race. The only exception is among participants in the event as a test of skill.
Hawaii Skill-based Gaming Laws
Hawaii makes exceptions to its gambling laws for skill-based gaming. A wager by participants in a contest of strength, skill or speed is permitted. Observers making wagers on these events would be considered bookmaking.
eSports are not mentioned anywhere in Hawaii laws. Players making wagers would fall under a skill game in most cases. Viewers doing so would violate bookmaking laws.
Traditional Games of Skill
Skill game sites like Worldwinner accept players from Hawaii. There is no limitation of the types of contests or games players from the state may enter.
Skill-based Gaming Machines
Skill-based gaming machines are legal in Hawaii. However, cash may not be a prize. It must be awarded as a gift through redemption of tickets or similar tracking device.
Hawaii Charity Gambling Law
There are no special charity gaming laws in Hawaii. Non-profit organizations may not spread games like bingo or raffles for money.
Hawaii Gaming Regulatory Directory
As all forms of commercial gambling are illegal in Hawaii, there are no regulatory agencies in the state.
Hawaii Gambling FAQ
Are there any forms of legalized gambling in Hawaii?
All forms of commercial gambling are illegal in Hawaii. Social gaming is permitted.
What types of social gambling are permitted in Hawaii?
Home poker games, card games, fantasy sports and anything else not related to bookmaking is legal in Hawaii if it is done without a fee from the house.
What is the minimum age for social gaming in Hawaii?
Players must be at least 18 years of age.
Are there casino cruise ships in Hawaii?
No. Any ship that originates or ends its cruise in Hawaii may not offer any casino gambling. Those that dock but do not pick up or release passengers may have gambling.
Is online poker legal in Hawaii?
No. All forms of online gambling are illegal in Hawaii.
Are online casinos legal in Hawaii?
No. All forms of online gambling are illegal in Hawaii.
Is sports betting legal in Hawaii?
Sports betting is illegal in Hawaii, even as a social game.
Are daily fantasy sports contests legal in Hawaii?
No, according to the state attorney general’s office. No sites accept players from the state. However, friendly fantasy sports contests are legal under a social gaming exception.
Can charities hold bingos or sell raffle tickets in Hawaii?
No. There is no charitable exception to the state gambling laws.
Are out-of-state gambling winnings taxable in Hawaii?
Yes. The rate is 1.4 percent to 11 percent, depending on the winner’s annual adjusted gross income.
Where do Hawaiians go to play casino games?
Most go to Las Vegas. It is jokingly referred to as the Ninth Island.