Gambling Laws in Hawaii
Hawaii has prohibited gambling since its formation in 1959, including within casinos, lottery, Daily Fantasy and sports betting. These are discussed at length on our Hawaii gambling page. The section of Hawaiian law pertaining to gambling is 712-1220 and states no goods or money can be exchanged in games. However, a ruling by the Supreme Court could change things. In May 2018, the court ruled in favor of sports betting, opening doors for legislature in states where betting was illegal. In 2018 alone, ten bills on the topic were introduced in Hawaii. Bills SB677 and HB1107 (which would expand sports betting) are the ones to watch.
- We use trusted sources such as the Hawaii Tribune-Heraldand the Star Advertiser to stay on top of all industry related news and developments.
- Our team includes experts on sports betting and the gambling industry at large, including casino games such as blackjack. We have also created an online roulette guide.
- We keep on top of any changes to the law by being in close contact with the Hawaii State Legislature.
Most Popular Sports in Hawaii
Though Hawaii does not boast any major league franchises, the state loves to watch NFL, NBA and MLB games. Hawaiians are also active in plenty of sports, given their supreme location for surfing and outdoor activities. Though now headquartered in Los Angeles, the World Surf League has its roots in Hawaii, starting in the early ‘80s when surfers Randy Rarick and Fred Hemmings began organizing pro surfing events. Hawaii also has a thriving college sports scene, with many university teams drawing big crowds nationwide.
NCAA – Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Football
The NCAA Division I team repping the University of Hawaii-Manoa has a rich history that begins before Hawaii’s inclusion as the 50th state. The Warriors routinely face off against worthy opponents in the Hawai’i Bowl and have a number of wins against Middle Tennessee (2016), Arizona State (2006) and UAB (2004) under their belts. They made it to the Sugar Bowl in 2008, and reached an all-time high attendance record in 2016 with 110,222 watching them play against Michigan. The team has had 69 players drafted by the NFL since 1936.
NCAA – Hawaii Rainbow Warriors Basketball
The Rainbow Warriors Basketball are University of Hawaii’s NCAA Division I team, participating in the Big West Conference. They received their first win in the NCAA Div I Tournament in 2016. This illustrious team has produced five All-American players (Bob Nash, Tom Henderson, Anthony Harris, Anthony Carter and Predrag Savović) and 11 NBA draft picks.
Local History of Sports Betting
Given the strict nature of the gambling laws on the islands, Hawaii sports betting and Daily Fantasy are not yet legal. Recent developments in federal laws and vested interest from Hawaiian citizens and legislators mean some forms of betting might soon be legal.
|1959||Hawaii joins the union as our 50th state.|
|1959||Hawaii’s first lawmakers attempt to introduce horse racing and betting, but the bill is shut down in the House of Representatives.|
|2010||New legislature is introduced to create a committee to oversee gambling in the state, which would have allowed for legalized sports betting and casinos in the state and on ships off of its coasts. Both bills are voted down.|
|2018||The U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of legalizing sports betting federally. As a result, ten new bills on the topic of gambling are introduced in the Hawaiian legislature.|
|2019||Two bills are working through the state legislature — SB677 and HB1107 — and could legalize sports betting and other online gambling if passed.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in Hawaii
No age limit has yet been determined for sports betting in Hawaii, since it is not yet legal in the state. If current attempts by the state legislature are successful and betting is legalized, the minimum age is likely to follow the state’s drinking age, which is 21.
Sports Betting AgeThere is currently no age, as there is no legal sports gambling in Hawaii.
Alcohol AgeThe legal drinking age is 21 in Hawaii.
Weed AgeThere is currently no legal age, as marijuana usage is not yet legal in Hawaii.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Perhaps because of Hawaii’s late introduction into the United States, its gambling history does not follow the trends of many other states with legal betting. Up until recently, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) had limited sports betting in almost every state. The aforementioned ruling by the Supreme Court in 2018 has struck down PASPA, meaning many states may now develop legal online betting. You can learn more about Delaware sports betting, for example, which is legal when accessed from within that state, but not from within Hawaii.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
The taxing of winnings on earnings from gambling in Hawaii have not yet been determined since all forms of gambling are still illegal in the state. If betting becomes legal, it is likely that winnings will be taxed, following suit of other states and many European countries, like Germany where a 5% tax on all winnings is in place. If the Senate Bill 677 is passed, Hawaii gambling revenue would be directed towards funding projects in rural areas and schools.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in Hawaii Sports Betting Law
As mentioned, several key changes in state and local laws could drastically change the legality of gambling in Hawaii. With the striking down of PASPA by the Supreme Court in May 2018, and pushes by states like Delaware and New Jersey to legalize online sports betting, Hawaii may soon follow suit with its own legislation. If the proposed laws SB677 and HB1107 are passed, a regulating government body on gaming may be formed and various forms of betting legalized.