Hawaii has a history of very strict gambling laws. It’s one of only two states in the U.S. to outlaw all forms of gambling, including sports betting and casino gaming.
Despite Hawaii’s history, in recent years lawmakers have pushed to legalize sports betting. Legislators have introduced several bills to legalize online sports betting and establish a new agency to regulate it. While the state hasn’t made major progress in this direction, state representatives remain dedicated to trying to pass such legislation.
Here’s everything you need to know about online sports betting in Hawaii.
Recent News and Details About Sports Betting in Hawaii
- Hawaii is one of two states alongside Utah to not allow any form of gambling. This means Hawaii does not allow sports betting, casino gaming, or lottery games.
- Although Hawaii has been strict against gambling, there have been efforts to legalize sports betting in the past. However, none of these attempts have received much support.
- Hawaii is one of the few U.S. states to explicitly ban daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests from platforms such as DraftKings and FanDuel. Hawaii views these contests as games of chance and prohibits them under the state’s gambling laws.
- Horse racing is also illegal in Hawaii, despite being legal in several states that don’t have legal sports betting. Simulcast betting via online platforms like TVG or BetAmerica is not permitted.
- Because gambling is illegal in Hawaii, legalizing retail sports betting would face major obstacles as it would require the construction of casinos with retail sports betting areas. If sports betting is legalized, an online-only sports betting model may be the most fitting solution.
Online Sports Betting in Hawaii: A Timeline
All forms of gambling are outlawed in Hawaii, including casino gaming, sports betting, lottery games, bingo, and horse race betting. Despite this, lawmakers have made attempts in recent years to pass sports betting legislation. However, it’s unlikely to be passed at any point in the near future. Here’s a closer look at the timeline of sports betting legislation in Hawaii:
- Jan. 27, 2022: Hawaii Rep. John Mizuno says that HB 815, which would legalize online sports betting, is not likely to pass this year, but he believes it’s only a matter of time before Hawaii passes legislation to legalize gambling and sports betting.
- Jan. 24, 2022: Mizuno introduces HB 815, which would legalize online sports betting, levy a 55% tax on sports betting winnings, and establish a new state agency to oversee sportsbook providers.
- Feb. 12, 2021: Sports betting bills stall as Hawaii remains hesitant to pass such legislation. HB 736, which proposes a sports betting pilot program, falls on the back burner despite support from lawmakers such as Rep. Sean Quinlan.
- Feb. 2, 2021: Several sports betting bills are introduced by Hawaii legislators, including SB 595 to create a sports gaming task force, HB 736 to create a pilot program for sports betting, and HB 850 to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports.
- 2020: SB 2571 and HB 1107, which were introduced in 2019, are carried over to 2020 before dying in their respective committees.
- 2019: HB 1107 is filed, but is unsuccessful. The bill would have created the Hawaii Sports Wagering Corporation to regulate and operate sports betting in Hawaii.
- 2016: Hawaii Attorney General Doug Chin states that daily fantasy sports contests should be considered gambling according to state law. Major DFS platforms are not able to accept entries from players in Hawaii.
How Do Hawaii Residents Feel About Sports Betting?
There is not much information available on how Hawaii residents feel about sports betting, as there have been no ballot measures that would have allowed them to vote to legalize sports betting or casino gaming. Given that Hawaii does not allow any form of gambling, it’s likely that public opinion on the subject would be more split than in states that offer legal forms of gambling.
The National Council on Problem Gambling’s National Survey on Gambling Attitudes and Gambling Experiences found that 57% of respondents from Hawaii participated in some type of gambling activity and 56% disagreed that gambling is immoral.
The survey also asked whether it would be important for sports betting operators to implement responsible gambling measures if Hawaii were to legalize sports betting, to which 68% of respondents agreed.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in Hawaii?
Daily fantasy sports apps let users build fantasy sports teams to compete in daily and weekly competitions for cash and other prizes. Even in states that have yet to legalize sports betting, these contests are often available because they can be considered games of skill — the outcomes are at least partially dependent on a player’s sports knowledge.
While DFS contests are available in most states, Hawaii is one of the few to explicitly outlaw them and classify them as gambling under the state’s laws. Major DFS operators like DraftKings and FanDuel do not accept entries from players in Hawaii.
Hawaii Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||No|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||No|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||No|
|Minimum legal gambling age||N/A|
Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of July 2022.