If you’re looking for live or online gambling, Hawaii isn’t the state for you.
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Given that live casinos, even those located on ships off the coast, are banned, it’s hardly surprising that real money online casinos in Hawaii are illegal. However, if any of the bills being reviewed in 2018 is successful, it could have a domino effect that ends with lawmakers giving Hawaii online casinos the green light.
Social casinos are available and legal in Hawaii, though, both on the internet or as an app, and feature all the popular casino games, including slots, blackjack, video poker and roulette. It is free to play. While you cannot win money playing games at social casinos, the sites like WinStar, LuckyLand and Chumba casino typically offer sweepstakes (games of chance) with prizes that can include real money jackpots.
Residents can play poker in Hawaii, but only for fun. As per the constitution, social poker games are legal but there are strict rules in place. Firstly, they can’t be held in commercial properties such as hotels or bars. Secondly, no one can make a profit, not even a host selling food and beverages. Because of this strict stance against real money gaming, online poker in Hawaii isn’t legal yet. Although there could be scope for free-play Hawaiian online poker sites in the future, nothing has been written into the legislation.
Despite a cursory effort to legalize betting on horses back in 1959, Hawaii has been as tough on this form of gambling as any other. In fact, if you look at the active bills for 2018, Hawaii sports betting laws aren’t on the list. However, this doesn’t mean all hope is lost. With the Supreme Court overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, pro-gambling politicians in the state may introduce a Hawaiian sports betting bill in 2019, though that remains a long shot.
Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin concluded that daily fantasy sports were illegal in the state back in January 2016. However, as she did with online gambling, Senator Michelle Kidani has introduced a bill that would allow Hawaii daily fantasy sites to operate legally. In fact, Kidani’s Senate bill is the companion of a house bill submitted by Scott Y. Nishimoto. If either are successful, we could see daily fantasy in Hawaii at some point in 2019, though it remains illegal. There are no operators like DraftKings or Fanduel available now.
As of 2018, 10 gambling bills were submitted or carried over from the previous year. They have yet to gain much traction in 2019.
A second attempt to form a committee was shot down before it gained any traction.
Bills advocating the formation of a gambling oversight committee are submitted. Had either been successful, the committee would have started the process of writing laws to legalize sports betting and casinos in Hawaii. Unfortunately, neither bill made it through the system.
Hawaii officially joins the US and becomes a state.
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