Hawaii State

There’s no denying it: Hawaii is one of the most well-known states in the US, and with good reason. This volcanic island region officially became a US territory in 1959, and is often referred to as ‘the 50th state’. With its rich and fascinating culture, delicious cuisine, its beautiful beaches and landscapes, gorgeous sunsets and more, it’s no wonder Hawaii is on the top of millions of peoples’ travel bucket-list worldwide. It’s also one of the world’s most famous surfing hotspots, thanks to the massive swells that form offshore, with plenty of international surfing competitions taking place here. It should come as no surprise, then, that tourism is one of the biggest contributing factors to Hawaii’s economy, with an estimated 6 million visitors to the islands each year. 

Hawaii hosts a wide variety of cultural events, including a long-running LGBT film festival, making it one of the more liberal states to visit. But, with so much to see and do in this tropical paradise, what is Hawaii’s standpoint in terms of gambling? Sure, people who have travelled far and wide to enjoy an island getaway may not be in the mood to sit and play slots or poker, but there are still close to 1.5 million permanent residents there. Are they allowed to gamble for fun or for profit? Are Facebook casinos and mobile social casinos permitted? Let’s find out.

Hawaii Online Gambling Licences

The statutes of Hawaii were put into place when it became a US state back in 1959, and gambling has been illegal ever since. Before then, there was a horse-racing scene, and it is understood that many bets would have been placed on races – even if on the black market. These went into decline in the 1940s, and despite attempts to legislate them again, this has never come to pass. Locals and visitors to Hawaii who wish to get their game on in a land-based establishment are fresh out of luck, as there are no brick-and-mortar casinos on the islands. As a matter of fact, next to Utah, Hawaii has one of the strictest anti-gambling legislations in the country. Even some of the most conservative states offer inter-state lottery games, or charitable Bingo games where all proceeds go towards public enterprises, such as education – but this is not the case in Hawaii. There was a bill in the past which pushed for the creation of a Hawaii Internet Lottery and Gaming Corporation, but this was rejected by the state in 2013. 

As far as gambling online is concerned, Hawaii shares a similar sentiment to other states, in which playing online is not explicitly named and prohibited, but running an online gambling organisation for profit, is. Many residents of Hawaii still take a risk and play online at a number of offshore online casinos, but it’s a safer bet, then, to sign up at a number of free play online casinos, where no real money is used.

Gambling in Hawaii

Online Casinos

As previously stipulated, there are no land-based casinos in Hawaii, and it’s generally understood that the laws against gambling encompass online play as well. There are still those who register and play at international sites, but this is at their own risk and discretion. Unlike other states, the statutes of Hawaii are more strict in expressing the illegality of online play, or any game with a chance element and some risk or reward. As such, many residents prefer to stick to fun play casinos, which come with some fun free online slots, or alternatively go for free play online casinos and social casino apps. A popular alternative to online gambling in Hawaii is the playing of skill games like Candy Crush Saga and Bejewelled Blitz.

Sports Betting

Sports betting is prohibited in Hawaii, despite a history of horseracing, which came to an abrupt end in the 1940s. As a matter of fact, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 shuts down illegal forms of sports betting, both online and in underground establishments. International sportsbooks are considered dangerous investments, as they cannot be prosecuted in the event of foul play.

Bingo and Lottery

As previously stipulated, Hawaii is one of few states in the US that does not even offer charitable gambling, which usually comprise of Bingo and inter-State lottery games. Despite attempts to have these activities legalised, there has been no progress.


Ordinarily, when one thinks of Hawaii, they might imagine a free-for-all holiday destination where anything and everything is possible. Beautiful beaches, towering volcanoes, beach parties and the like. As such, one would almost think of it as a tropical Nevada, where people from around the world can enjoy all forms of gambling, winning enough money to extend their stay indefinitely. It is rather surprising, then, to learn that the 50th State is one of the strictest in terms of wagering for profit. No land-based casinos, no online poker games, no sports betting – Hawaii may well fall off the bucket list of a traveller who looks forward to trying all of the local gaming hotspots. Don’t be disheartened, though. There is enough to see and do in a beautiful destination like Hawaii to keep you entertained and enthralled from the moment you land. If anything, being inside a land-based casino might be the last thing on your to-do list. It is a good idea to steer clear of any form of online gambling in Hawaii as well, even if the site you’re accessing is an offshore one. Rather, stick to skills games like Candy Crush Saga or learn how to play on Facebook casinos. Alternatively, forgo the games altogether and get some sun and surf on! It is Hawaii, after all!