Much like Alaska, Hawaii is a distance from the mainland USA. Which also means they are a ways away from the professional sports leagues, and the gambling attractions that are just a road trip away from the rest of the 48 U.S. States.
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Hawaii isn’t known to be a sports betting hotspot, they only have a few college teams, so the push for sports betting legalization in Hawaii just isn’t a priority to governing officials. Their whole economy revolves around tourism though, and being able to provide visitors with a sportsbook in proximity to their resort and hotel locations could prove to be a good revenue stream.
Their hotels don’t have any casino activity within them - not even a slot machine. That’s not to say it’s without effort. Tribes and officials alike have been trying to make a push to build casinos in Hawaii, with no luck. Most authoritative parties want to keep their tourism wholesome and streamlined.
Gambling laws in Hawaii are pretty strict, so if you want to place a wager on anything, your options are few and far between. Social gambling seems to be the only way to physically bet in Hawaii without breaking any laws. Why? Because social gambling is probably the most difficult type of gambling to regulate. In-house poker nights with friends would be tough to bust and would be a total waste of resources.
Permitting gambling would bring exponential revenue to the state, especially with the number of tourists they entertain each year. States with legal sports betting are seeing increases in the millions, going directly to the state, rather than to offshore sportsbooks. The risks with using offshore sportsbooks mean you might have issues settling disputes if you choose an unsafe or unreliable sportsbook - you can’t sue the sportsbook or bring legal matters into it.
Hawaii Legal Sports Betting Timeline
Before the 2018 PASPA
Hawaii has a long history as an anti-gambling state. This stance is hard to explain, given the relaxed idea most of us have of Hawaii. In fact, since it became a state in 1959, the only changes have been to strengthen anti-gambling laws.
In 1959, a bill to legalize horse racing failed to get off the ground. In 2010, two bills to investigate just the possibility of gambling did not get off the ground. And in 2012, a similar bill suffered a similar fate.
Hawaii was given the opportunity by the national government to open up and legalize sports betting in the state. However, they seem dedicated to having a family-friendly state. There has been no significant push towards opening up this market on the islands.
Can I bet on sports in Hawaii?
The only other option that we can legally suggest to Hawaii residents, that would help those who want to bet but are unable to, is online gambling.
Betting online in Hawaii isn’t illegal. Due to gambling laws being so old that they predate the internet and online gambling, there is no mention of it in state laws. You aren’t breaking the law by betting on sports in Hawaii when there is no mention of online betting in state laws.
Online sportsbooks and casinos will help Hawaiian residents get in on the betting action legally, and help them cash in on some great odds and bonuses while they’re at it. It’s easy to sign up at an online sportsbook from your laptop or mobile device, make a deposit and start betting instantly.
There are a few online sportsbooks that we recommend to US residents, and many of which are available to Hawaii citizens - they’re a great option to consider if you want to put a few dollars on a football game.
Gambling is illegal in Hawaii, so there are no casinos, racebooks, sports betting venues - nothing within the state where someone could gamble.
Native American tribes have been trying to get casinos built in Hawaii for years, with no luck, their last bill was in 2010, making us think they’ve given up on their casino dreams.
With no casinos in Hawaii and no other gambling establishments - it would be assumed if sports betting was ever legalized in Hawaii, that it would all be done online. Mobile gambling is extremely popular in other states, and the convenience of signing up and betting from your living room is extremely appealing to all sports bettors. But, we likely won’t see this happen for quite some time.
Betting on Hawaii Sports Teams
There are no professional-level sports in Hawaii, but there are collegiate sports at the University of Hawaii that travel to the mainland U.S., and you can certainly find odds on them.
Their football team, The Hawaii Warriors, is part of the Mountain West Conference, who aren’t notable in the grand scheme of the NCAAF. But they did make an appearance in the Sugar Bowl in 2007 and were crowned champions of the Hawaii Bowl in 2016.
The Warriors also have a college basketball team who is fairly mediocre. They’ve had some decent seasons, including their March Madness appearance in 2016, but never made it past the second round.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Hawaii
If you’re looking to bet on college football or basketball, you have to make sure you find a sportsbook that has great odds on your favorite Hawaiian team, or any team of your choosing! Bovada is a great option with bonuses, plenty of deposit options, unique props, and odds, and more.
We have a full list of sportsbook reviews available that we recommend to Hawaiian bettors so that you are signing up at a reliable, trustworthy sportsbook with all of the bells and whistles based on your needs. As this is currently the only option for online bettors, it’s important to do thorough research before signing up - and that includes reading reviews!