Casinos for you
HawaiiNo form of gambling is allowed in Hawaii. Casinos, sportsbooks, bingo halls and racetracks are all illegal to not detract from their other tourist attractions or compete with gambling locations.
Land Based GamblingProhibited Online GamblingAllowed in Bingo Pari-MutuelNo Smoking BanYes
Land Based Gambling
Online Sports Betting
Regulated Since: 0
Gambling Age: 0
OverviewNo form of gambling is allowed in Hawaii. Casinos, sportsbooks, bingo halls and racetracks are all illegal to not detract from their other tourist attractions or compete with gambling locations.
Hawaii doesn't have an issue with gambling in and of itself. While they would prefer not to compete with Las Vegas and other more popular gambling sites, they are apprehensive about what a local casino would do to the economy, since they feel that it would mainly be funded by the residents who live there all year round.
If you would like to enjoy all the fun of the casino without any of the risks of losing real money, some services can be used by residents and tourists to attend a casino party or event. But that is the closest you will get. For any real casino action, you would need to catch a flight to the mainland and enjoy it there.
As a family-friendly holiday destination, the state makes sure there is plenty to see and do while on holiday. So much, in fact, that you probably won't miss that there are no casinos. Between the beaches, bars and water sports, you won't be bored and there is something from everyone, no matter how you prefer to relax.
Hawaii is the kind of destination where you'd want to spend the majority of your time outdoors. Once you have had your fill of hula dancing and hiking, and enjoyed all the delicious food and drink on offer, you will flop into bed for a rest-filled sleep before getting up and exploring the island some more.
When it comes to cruise ships that dock there, while they are not allowed to operate casinos while in Hawaiian waters, they are welcome to do so once they are in international waters. So, if you're desperate to play a game of chance, you could always purchase a ticket and join a cruise for a few days.
Las Vegas is a popular destination for the locals of Hawaii and even the 6 hours it takes to fly there doesn't detract from the appeal. The flights aren't too expensive and this makes it an accessible and fantastic holiday option for those who reside on the island. As such, it makes sense that locals recommend that tourists do the same while on holiday there.
You are welcome to partake in social gambling while in the Aloha States but only if you keep it out of the hotels, motels, bars, nightclubs or any other business establishment or public place. In other words, gamble at home, socially, out of sight of the tourists.
The law prohibits wagering on horses, dog races or aboard ships or in casinos of any kind and defines gambling as:
“...staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or uncontrollable future contingent event in order to receive something of value.” Code section 712-1220 et seq
To define a contest of chance, it specifies:
“‘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.”
The law even has a section on Bookmaking where it says:
“‘Bookmaking’ means advancing gambling activity by accepting bets from members of the public upon the outcomes of future contingent events.”
This, in essence, ensures that every possible form of gambling is covered comprehensively with no possibility of anyone misunderstanding Hawaiin laws. If the game has a “material degree upon an element of chance”, it is considered to be gambling. If the game you're playing requires skill, like darts and billiards, you are welcome to enjoy them while living or holidaying in Hawaii.
And in case there is any question around contracts or insurance policies, “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.”
Very few states have laws this specific and detailed around enjoying games of chance. The government clearly takes gambling very seriously and it is unlikely that major change will take place in the near future.
Right now, it is not possible to get a licence to open or operate a casino in Hawaii. The reasoning is that people don't visit the island to gamble and the government considers this to be a closed book argument.
There is no legal form of live gambling allowed on the island. While home poker games are permitted, and bars can host poker tournaments, as long as there is no buy-in, it is recommended that you fly over to Vegas if you want to gamble.
There are no Hawaii casinos in the Aloha states and they don't even hold a lottery. Illegal gambling is a criminal offence, which could result in jail time. Depending on the type of gambling or amount wagered, punishment for participating in illegal gambling may change and can be especially severe if you are holding games or lotteries for personal profit.
Certain activities may constitute gambling even if they are not specifically mentioned by name. So, if there is any doubt about whether the game you're playing could be considered gambling, rather don't get involved.
The last thing you want to do while living or vacationing in the Aloha states is have to call a lawyer to defend you in a case where you have been accused of illegal gambling. A criminal record is not something to mess around with.
In a state where not even charitable bingo games are allowed, and, despite three attempts to overthrow the ban a few years ago, which all failed because the majority of Hawaii senate voted against it, you are advised to pick another destination if you want to gamble while living, working or holidaying in Hawaii.
You are most welcome to gamble offshore and the government has no issue with you gambling online in the comfort of your own home, but trying to secure a license to operate a gambling facility in Hawaii is a non-starter.
With a wealth of online options available and the fact that many online casinos operate well on mobile devices, all is not lost. Despite maintaining a 100% ban on gambling, Hawaiin law enforcement doesn't arrest, charge or prosecute anyone who plays online through offshore casinos for real money, as long as they don't operate betting businesses for profit.
Casinos and Gambling Facilities in Hawaii Gambling?
FAQAre there any casinos in Hawaii?No.Is there a lottery in Hawaii?No.Are casinos legal in Hawaii?No. And you won't find a casino within the Aloha states.Are online casinos legal in Hawaii?No, but as long as you stick to offshore casinos, it is unlikely that you will be prosecuted.Is there any legal gambling in Hawaii?No. Not at all.Are there casino cruise ships in Hawaii?Only ships that dock in Hawaii temporarily may offer gambling. Cruises that originate from, or end their journey in Hawaii are not allowed to have gambling devices onboard.Are daily fantasy sports sites legal in Hawaii?No.