Hawaii and Utah



People may not blink twice when they find out about Utah’s stand against any legal form of gambling given its Mormon traditions, but it is quite amazing to find out a tourist “cash-cow” island like Hawaii would offer nothing in the form of gambling and casinos.

The fact is that the majority of Hawaii’s residents are really opposed to the idea of any form of gambling in their State, and they are supported whole-heartedly in their beliefs by their political leaders. They believe that it would stain the reputation of Hawaii as being a paradise and escape from life’s harsher realities.

According to the Honolulu Police Department, even Bingo is considered illegal. A quick look at the law’s criteria is enough to make a seasoned gambler cringe. If:

  • There is a CONSIDERATION or item of value wagered.
  • There is an element of CHANCE involved.
  • There is a REWARD or item of value won. Even cruise ships are not spared from the anti-gambling laws of Hawaii, as cruise ships are prohibited from operating their casinos within the waters of Hawaii. As it is, no cruise ship operating a casino is allowed to start and end their cruise in Hawaii.

…social gambling is still allowed within the State, as long as everyone is on level terms and no cut is given to the house.

Usually, people in Hawaii just set up their own make-shift table, but you would be quite pleased to know that there are services offering “Vegas style” set-up parties that can make you feel like you’re in Las Vegas, minus the house rakes!!

Some renowned Casinos are offering Hawaii residents special discounted rates to let their gambling inhibitions go all out by giving flight packages that bring them to their Sin City casinos.

A summary of gambling and poker in Hawaii

  1. Well-known for their exotic, tropical flowers, it is interesting to note that Las Vegas casinos and Cruise ships with casino operations regularly get their flower decors from Hawaii. The Las Vegas and Cruise connection alone has placed Hawaii’s flower industry as its second largest agricultural supplier.
  2. Hawaii still does not even have a lottery program. But Hawaii’s social poker scene is fast growing, due mainly to popular TV shows featuring World Poker tournaments.
  3. Hawaii and Utah are the only U.S. States that does not allow any legalized form of gambling. Even participating in online or internet gambling is prohibited in Hawaii, even if those operating it are outside of Hawaii itself.
  4. Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Aloha State visit Las Vegas to gamble. So it is safe to say that even though Hawaii’s Casino scene is still a pipe dream, the people of Hawaii can easily book a casino tour to Las Vegas.
  5. Although gambling can give a lot in terms of revenue and job opportunities in Hawaii, people still are opposed to gambling in Hawaii. Proposed legalization of allowing cruise ships to operate casinos just outside of Hawaii’s waters is being considered, but is still highly unlikely to be granted.

    Even if gambling and casinos are still considered a no-no in the State of Hawaii, people there still find ways to provide gambling entertainment to its residents.

    These are the most popular forms of illegal gambling in Hawaii: (according to the Honolulu Police Department)

    1. Video Poker and Slot Machines – not to be confused with internet gambling, these are, nonetheless, machines where you can cash in your winnings.
    2. Cara/Cruz – a coin game wherein two players flip a coin and bet if it’s heads or tails.
    3. Casinos – illegally set-up not as a social form of gambling, but catering to high stakes gambling
    4. Cockfighting – it goes against Hawaii’s gambling laws, as well as the anti-animal cruelty laws out there.
    5. Internet Gambling – popularly known as online gambling.
    6. Bookmaking – usually involves “bookies” taking bets from the public on the results of competitions or games.

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