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.
Posted by: Bruce Fisher on Sep 22, 2008