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Hawaii Gambling Online and Live

Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful and exotic destinations in the United States, making it a popular vacation destination not only for Americans, but for tourists from around the world. But there is one kind of visitor who is certain to be disappointed when they reach the Aloha State: anyone who enjoys gambling from time to time. Hawaii is one of only two states that authorizes absolutely no forms of gaming within its borders, though the situation isn’t quite as dire as it sounds.

Online Sites Are Only Option

Hawaii has absolutely no forms of regulated gambling available in the state. That’s right: not only are there no casinos in Hawaii. There are also no slots parlors, racetracks, or even a lottery to be played here. This is a situation that is only present in one other state: Utah.

That might seem like an unusual pairing. After all, it’s understandable that Utah, with its deeply religious roots and large Mormon population, would shy away from any sort of gaming industry. But why has Hawaii joined them?

The answer may lie in the state’s isolation and its large tourism industry. With no neighboring states, there is far less pressure on Hawaiian lawmakers to battle for gambling dollars, the kind of situation that has prompted so much gambling expansion on the mainland. Plus, with the tourism industry bringing in plenty of outside money, the revenue a lottery could bring in may not be quite the temptation it is for many other legislatures.

This all means that if you want to gamble in Honolulu, you’ll need to do so at at an online casino. Not surprisingly, there hasn’t been any Internet casino regulation in this state either, but that hasn’t stopped more than a few overseas companies from continuing to offer their online games to players in the state. Essentially, this state is in a grey area for them: there is no legal framework for them to be there, but players can legally play on their sites. And as such there are plenty of new online casinos in Hawaii that cater for locals here.

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Talks of Expansion, But Little Action

Nobody should expect resort casino complexes to invade Hawaii anytime soon. Even smaller attempts at gaming operations in the state have been shut down by authorities: in 2014, police made a series of major busts against so-called sweepstakes cafes, venues that attempted to sneak around state law by claiming their machines technically don’t constitute gambling. In 2010, there was brief talk about finally opening the state to casino gambling, but it didn’t get far, and efforts have faded in more recent years.

Surprisingly, however, there has been movement in another area: Internet sites. In 2012, the state house considered a bill that would have developed an Internet lottery corporation for the state, one that would allow for a lottery and other games, such as online poker. Several state representatives supported the bill, but it failed to gain any traction.

The issue didn’t die, however, and another attempt was made in 2013 – this time in the state Senate. The bill attempted to make the point that regulation was better than allowing Hawaiians to play on largely unregulated foreign sites, but again, few lawmakers in the state showed any interest in allowing the issue to go forward.

While these developments show that there might be hope for bringing some sort of gaming industry to Hawaii in the years to come, those hoping to gamble in the state shouldn’t start holding their breath just yet and look at other countries. There has been some significant pushback against each of these efforts, particularly when it comes to gaming online. Officials, including the state’s Attorney General, have come out strongly against online poker and other games, a move that suggests it would be hard to build a consensus on the issue anytime soon. So for the time being, Hawaii online gambling sites will remain unregulated. Luckily there are still plenty of good options available.


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