Gambling in Hawaii: All you need to know!

This is second entry of our article series “All you need to know!”. Last time we shared some pretty interesting information that might come in handy for those interested in gambling in Texas; on this new entry we have a sunnier state: Hawaii!

Hawaii has never been striving to become one of the booming gambling destinations in the world. The approach of Hawaiian government has never been positive towards gambling business; however, they could not hide from the whole casino thrill completely. Nowadays, thousands of residents of Hawaii are involved in online poker.

Hawaiian law has a rather straightforward approach on gambling; in state borders none is legal! So, let us understand how gambling is defined in Hawaii – any bet that involves something of any value and is engaged in the “contest of chance”. According to Hawaiian definition of consent of chance, poker is included in it too based on the Section 712-1220(3) – “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”. You can play home poker games though, but under very strict conditions.

Let’s talk about regulations


Online gambling is not absolutely regulated either. In 2012, there were some major steps taken towards passing an online gambling bill, but the result was not successful and the plan failed.

It is a little complicated to directly answer the question whether online poker is legal in Hawaii or not as there is no case law concerning it. It has to be mentioned that there is no record of arrest related to this topic either.

Hawaiians can play at online poker rooms at all foreign poker sites that are open to American Players and they can use real money as well. There are some restrictions for New York and Washington residents, but quite surprisingly not for Hawaii ones.

Is Hawaii against gambling?


Hawaii was not always so much against gambling. Actually, there was even a time when the elite used to have gambling as their main form of entertainment. Years ago horse racing was really popular in Hawaii, but in 1950’s came an end to the regulated gambling and it has been like that until recently when several trials for legalizing some form of gambling occurred. Hawaii remains one of the two states in US that have not yet regulated gambling; the other one is Utah.

One of the key solutions towards developing legal and licensed online poker rooms is the local influence on regulation. But unfortunately, the government does not really seem to be interested in providing locals with an online poker room that will be 100% compatible with the Hawaiian laws and regulations.

Susan Sedlak

Susan Sedlak is a writer based on San Diego, California. Being an avid player, and most importantly, an avid blog reader, Susan knows how to deliver interesting, highly entertaining articles.


Click here for more contact options