One of the most common questions we are asked is whether there is gambling in Hawaii. The short answer is no however, there are many reasons why and many theories on this issue.

Hawaii is only one of two states that has no legalized gambling of any kind. That means no lotteries, horse races, sports betting, or even bingo. The only other state that doesn’t have any kind of legalized gambling is a Utah. If you’re traveling on a cruise ship in the Hawaiian Islands unfortunately, there is no gambling on cruise ships in Hawaiian waters either.

Most people in Hawaii oppose gambling because they think it takes away from the family atmosphere and will create more problems than good. There’s some truth to that, one of the great things about Hawaii is that it is a family destination and that means there’s lots of things to do here without having gambling as part of the vacation mix. You can come to Hawaii and not have to worry about losing your shirt in a casino. It’s also no secret that a Hawaiian vacation can be costly so gambling is another expense you won’t have to worry about on your vacation. Sure there are a lot of people that can afford to lose substantial sums of money but, that usually doesn’t include most of us.

On the other side of the issue there are those that think that gambling in Hawaii would be a great thing for the state of and would bring much-needed revenue. There are also those who feel that the Akaka bill, which has been in Congress for awhile, if passed, will mean that native Hawaiians will be able to build casinos on Hawaiian lands just as native Indians do on the mainland. It’s kind of ironic that the number one destination for people that actually live in Hawaii is Las Vegas. Locals in Hawaii really do love to gamble so it makes you wonder what impact legalized gambling would actually have on the local population here in Hawaii.

No matter which side of the issue you’re on at the present time you’ll have to keep your poker chips in your pocket. There won’t be any gambling in the foreseeable future for Hawaii. So for now come to Hawaii, don’t worry about having to gamble, and we promise we won’t tell anybody you’re building sand castles on the beach.


  1. Thanks for this posting.

    It is a question we are asked occasionally when people book their vacations. In this day and age, it strikes most as extremely odd that we don’t allow any type of gambling in Hawaii.

    I have come to appreciate it greatly,

  2. I agree with you, when I first moved here I though that Hawaii could use gambling but now I have come to like the fact that there is no gambling here, Its a much better place without it.

  3. I love gambling. I just moved from Vegas back to Hawaii and I miss my gambling, but not to the point that I’d want to see it in Hawaii. It could generate a lot of revenue but the problems surrounding the addiction is not worth all the money gambling can bring in. Hawaii should be about the mountains, the ocean, the land, and the culture. All these things can be learned with a family of any age. I like it like that. If I want to gamble, I will take a trip to Vegas (which I will in March ’09.

  4. I play the PowerBall, back at home, in hopes I can move here someday (currently on vacation in Maui). We’ll likely still move here some day. The chance of winning would just make it happen sooner. Personally, I think timeshare scams should be outlawed here. Some guy on Front street in Lahaina tried to con us into going to a 90 minute seminar in order to get discounts on local activities. I was highly annoyed he wasted my time.

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