Hawaii Sports Betting

hawaii sports betting

When you think of Hawaii, you probably don’t think of sports betting. For many years, it seemed like the Aloha State was never going to introduce legal gambling. With new developments in the continental USA and a steady rollout of sports betting across other states, legislators have begun to consider legal Hawaii sports betting.

Many of these concerns have also been raised to combat the rise in illegal gambling across these islands. Though there is not much in how traditional American sports take place professionally across the islands, many choose to follow the sports leagues back in the continental USA. On top of this, frequent visits to Las Vegas – with the city even being dubbed “the ninth island” – have caused many to consider the viability of sports betting in the Aloha State instead.

Though it seemed like they opposed it for many years, we might soon see the introduction of Hawaii sports betting. In doing so, we could see some other more conservative states reconsider their position regarding sports betting.

The Best Hawaii Sportsbooks

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Cloudbet is a one-of-a-kind establishment as it only accepts cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals. For many seasoned sports bettors this might be the new experience you’re looking for? Their offshore betting platform, which includes a Bitcoin sportsbook, will be a refreshing take on conventional betting methods. 

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At Bovada sportsbook, there is an excellent range of sports to bet on, its no surprise they have grown to be such a popular sportsbook in the United States. Based in Costa Rica; Bovada is one of the most popular offshore sportsbooks among sports bettors in the United States. 

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BetOnline is one of the most trusted offshore sportsbooks to choose from in the United States. Created in 2001, and with years of building their customer journey its easy to see why BetOnline are one of the most popular options for sports bettors in the United States. They provide online services for casino players, poker, and sports, with the latter being the one we will be focusing on.

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Providing sports bettors with a more dynamic betting experience, MyBookie is one of a handful of offshore betting sites available in the United States. 

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BUSR is one of the most well-known and trusted sportsbooks in the United States. Convenient deposit and withdrawal methods make for a great choice for new and seasoned sports bettors. With odds frequently published on several essential news publications, including ESPN, Bleacher Report, and Sports Illustrated we can see why BUSR has grown to be the reputable brand it has. 

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As an offshore sports betting platform GTbets offer multiple promotions and excellent welcome offers to all customers, an excellent choice for new sports bettors this season. 

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Stake.com is an offshore sportsbook that accepts bets from sports bettors in the United States of America. Founded in 2017 they are a one of a kind platform in that they only accept cryptocurrencies as a payment method. The cryptocurrency gambling site now has a large number of sports betting markets and alternatives available to anyone that sign up for an account. This makes Stake.com one of our top picks for sure. 

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Xbet are one of a bunch of offshore sportsbooks that are available to players in the United States, with the brand being situated in the Central American country of Costa Rica. Xbet offer multiple sports to bet on in addition to convenient deposit options. 

Legal Online Hawaii Sports Betting

Currently, all forms of gambling are banned in the Aloha State. From Hawaii online sports betting to poker and slot games, all types of games could be considered a form of gambling. There isn’t even a state lottery.

The discussion around online sports betting in Hawaii has reached the point where legislation will be introduced until it is finally passed. The latest of these bills is HI HB1815. This was introduced to the state’s House of Representatives in January 2022 and has been referred to the House Economic Development Committee as of writing. Even if this bill stalls and ends up not going anywhere, it is pretty likely that we will see another follow-up in the next legislative session. It is thought that we could see legal online sports betting emerge in the Aloha State by 2025, but this is all – of course – reliant on the legislation passing in the first place.

We will likely see the introduction of mobile sports betting in Hawaii simply because this is a state spread over several islands. While we could feasibly see the launch of successful retail sports betting in Honolulu or potentially in some of the larger and more popular resorts, it would not make it open to those who lived elsewhere on Oahu or the other islands. Launching retail locations across each inhabited island might not be a profitable activity. The introduction of mobile betting will be the best move here, ensuring that sports betting opportunities will be available to those of legal age and means across the islands.

How To Pick A Hawaii Sports Betting Site

There are no legal and active Hawaii sports betting sites in the state. One of the biggest names lobbying for the introduction of sports betting here is DraftKings. They are a significant operator in most US states for sports betting and daily fantasy games. They are well-versed in launching in new markets and are even the only online sportsbook in the New Hampshire sports betting market, having claimed the state-created monopoly there. A similar system could arise in Hawaii, meaning we will see just one brand in control of the market when it launches. DraftKings has more than proven that it can handle this market and make it a success.

 Other sports betting operators who might take an interest in the Hawaii market include FanDuel and BetMGM. Both of these brands hold a massive share of the broader American markets, so it stands to reason that they would be interested in launching in the Aloha State.

Legalizing Hawaii sports wagering might also legalize other gambling areas such as casino games. If so, we could see the construction of an entire casino resort to help boost tourism. Part of this might involve the introduction of a retail sportsbook with a corresponding app.

When apps do make their way onto the market, there will be some areas that bettors should look for closely. Most crucially, they should only choose brands that have obtained a license from the regulatory body that the Hawaiian government sets up. We will likely see a wide variety of apps and sites claiming to offer deals, so bettors must take the time to find the sites that are appropriately regulated and legal to play at. As with other states, Hawaii will likely introduce a betting age of at least 21.

History / Timeline Of Sports Betting in Hawaii

Sports have been part of daily life in Hawaii for hundreds of years. During the four-month festival of Makahiki, Native Hawaiians would honor Lono, the god of rains and fertility, with sports competitions and tournaments. Wagering and placing bets were very much part of these festivals. Some would sponsor the athletes and competitors and therefore want to bet in favor of them, even at the risk of their wealth.

However, this changed as Hawaii’s government changed throughout the years. Gambling as a whole was outlawed in the state before it gained statehood in 1959. Though many other states had some form of gambling throughout the 20th century, this was not the case in Hawaii. Even today, all forms of gambling have been banned here – even bingo and the lottery.

1992 proved a historic year for sports betting in the USA, as this was when the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was introduced. This act outlawed the introduction of legal sports betting in states where it was not already present. Though this affected many states in the continental USA, it had little relevance in Hawaii when everything was outlawed.

However, PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018. With this monumental decision, states were free to decide whether or not they would introduce sports betting themselves. At first, it seemed like Hawaii would maintain its anti-betting stance. It does appear as opinion has shifted since then.

Of course, the ban on sports betting on the Hawaiian Islands has not stopped the islanders from enjoying these games. Approximately 1 in 10 Hawaiians is thought to visit the casino city of Las Vegas at least once a year, becoming known as “the ninth island.” While visiting, they engage with every aspect of the city, including casinos and sports gambling. Las Vegas’s reputation has grown and flourished, even with the repeal of PASPA and gambling operations being set up in other states. It is not surprising that Hawaii lawmakers would be interested in retaining some of this revenue if possible, and the best way to do so will be through the legalization of gambling.

Though there is yet to be a successful gambling bill passing through the state government. It should not be too long before we see one, however. With it, we might see a sports betting legal form of modern Hawaii sports betting arise for the first time.

Hawaii Sports Teams

Hawaii is one of the states with no major league teams, though there have been ones in previous years. One of the most prominent was the Hawaii Islanders. They were a Triple-A minor league baseball team from 1961 to 1987.

Despite their lack of teams on the islands, there is still a significant following for sports in the islands. Plenty of Hawaiians follow many of the biggest teams from the major American sports franchises, sports bars, and other locations where one can go to watch matches if not checking them out in the comfort of their own home.

A question that needs to be raised with the legalization of Hawaii sports betting will be, as with other states, whether or not collegiate sports betting will be available. Hawaii has several colleges plus an NCAA Division I team in the form of the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors and Rainbow Wahine. We could see a ban on betting on collegiate teams within the state but allowing it for games with other teams elsewhere. This practice can be found in other states who have been hesitant about introducing legal collegiate sports betting, and it has worked quite well.

Retail Sports Betting in Hawaii

Since Hawaii sports betting is not legal yet, there are no retail locations where a sports bettor can place bets. The only form of betting that is allowed is a heavily regulated form of poker – and these games have to be held privately in one’s own home and not on commercial property. As a result, there is nowhere where you can legally place commercial or retail bets of any kind with the state of Hawaii.

If betting is legalized here, it will be interesting to see whether retail sports betting is an option. An operator such as DraftKings that has successful retail units in other states might wish to consider one in Honolulu, but they might not be an option on the other islands. When sports betting is legalized in Hawaii, we anticipate it will be through mobile platforms. As to whether or not there will be any retail units, we shall just have to wait and see.

Tribal Casinos

One important distinction when discussing Hawaii sports betting is that Native Hawaiians are not the same as Native Americans. If legal gambling comes to the Aloha State, any Hawaiian who chooses to open a casino or sportsbook would be considered the same way a commercial casino would be in the continental USA, and not in the same way that the native tribes who choose to negotiate gambling compacts are.

However, if sports gambling does come to Hawaii, we could see one of the brands owned by a native tribe consider establishing a casino resort here. In other states that do not have federally recognized tribes or tribes with gambling compacts, we have seen those from out-of-state do so successfully. Tribes like the Seminole Tribe of Florida could be one example of a group that tries to do this, potentially setting up a casino resort through their Hard Rock brand.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports are currently banned in Hawaii. To see whether or not they are made legal, we will ultimately have to wait until a concrete bill appears in the later discussions of legalization in the state government.

Since brands such as DraftKings have expressed an interest in Hawaiian gambling, we could expect it to be included in legalization and licensing. DraftKings constitute a significant operator of both sports gambling and daily fantasy sports. The legalization of both at the same time would be the catalyst for them to get these operations running in the Aloha state.

Offshore Sports Betting

Many websites claim to allow legal Hawaii sports betting, but they are not always the best options. Remember, sports betting and all other forms of gambling are banned in the Aloha State, and breaking this law can result in imprisonment.

The only sites one could consider using are licensed and regulated by governments in Costa Rica, Curaçao, and other similar places. Such sites are regulated; therefore, the odds and games they offer can be trusted.

What should be avoided is any offshore sportsbook that does not have a license or is unregulated. Such sites are not safe to play at and should always be avoided. To play at them means that you could risk the theft of your data or other information. As tempting as these offers might seem, it will always be better to wait for legal Hawaii sports betting.

Hawaii Horse Racing & Off-Track Betting

Unsurprisingly, Hawaii has no facilities for horse racing or off-track betting. All forms of betting are banned, including horse and dog racing. Off-track betting locations that simulcast races from other states are also not available. This also includes betting through common racing apps such as TVG.

Should Hawaii sports betting be made legal, one exclusion we are likely to see is that of horse racing. The state deeply cares for and respects its horses; many are highly critical of the sport. For this reason, it is unlikely that we shall see a racetrack open here.

However, any open retail sportsbook could offer odds on big races such as the Kentucky Derby. Everything rests on the precise terms of the legislation agreed upon. Though horse racing will probably never be made legal here, there is a chance that we could see some form of simulcast or off-track betting facility appear should the law permit it.

Final Thoughts / Summary

Hawaii might have a long history of rejecting sports betting, but this does not mean that it will continue to do so in the future. The overruling of PASPA and the subsequent flourishing of sports betting across the other states will have no doubt helped to facilitate a change in attitude.

Once upon a time, it might have seemed like the only states that would not introduce sports betting would have been Utah and Hawaii. However, the influx of bills has shown that this is simply not the case. The government will likely continue trying until they can get a bill through. We will see Hawaii sports betting launch for the first time.

The form that this will take is very much up for debate. Given the geographical challenges present here, mobile betting will be the best option – there is no doubt about it. There is a strong chance that we might see the introduction of one or two retail units in Honolulu or any casino resorts, but online gambling will likely be king here.

As for the operators, again, it depends on the legislation on offer. With such a small population in Hawaii, even with the ever-incoming tourist population, it is likely that the government will want to control the number of licenses available here. This will ultimately result in just a few licenses being made available, or even a single one being issued, as we saw in states like New Hampshire. Legal Hawaii sports betting will arrive; it is just a matter of when. Though many concerns have to be met, there is no reason why a thriving market cannot appear on these islands. Hopefully, by the end of the decade, Hawaii will have a well-regulated sports betting and gambling market.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.