Betting in Hawaii

Hawaii is easily one of the most beautiful and mysterious places on Earth; the combination of tropical rainforests and stunning volcanoes makes for a truly unique paradise that sees millions of vacationers and tourists per year. Of course, this chain of islands does have one glaring weakness when it comes to tourism; they are dead set against any form of gambling, and this includes betting at brick and mortar sportsbooks.

Throughout the Hawaiian Islands, the closest thing you’ll see when it comes to gambling is a friendly low-stakes wager between two friends. In fact, there are even laws about that sort of bet; wagering any amount of money on anything is illegal if it takes place inside a hotel or on a resort property. Believe it or not, that’s why Hawaii does not have many cruise ships docking there either- they are not allowed within any of their ports if there is a casino on-board. Even though cruises do not make huge money from wagering and they suspend all gaming whenever they approach territories that do not approve of gambling, they’re still banned from Hawaii. Don’t ask us why…we do not understand it either.

So why does Hawaii take such a sharp stance against betting? They could definitely use the money, because even tropical paradises are not immune to stock market crashes and sinking property values. Analysts have also pointed out that the airlines carrying Hawaiian citizens to destinations like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are always busy, and that’s not even taking into account all of the residents that bet online. Las Vegas is so popular among Hawaiians, if fact, that locally it is referred to at the ninth island (even though it’s a six hour flight to get there and happens to be in the middle of the Nevada desert…all minor details).

There are also numerous illegal gaming halls that get shut down each year by the police; all of this evidence seems to point towards a need for updated gambling laws in Hawaii. So why don’t they become the 49th state to legalize it? The locals would be thrilled, the tourism business would expand even higher than it already is, and the government would have extra ammunition to care for their continually expanding chain of islands (for those who don’t know, the entire Hawaiian chain of islands is formed on hardened lava that is pumped up from underwater volcanoes. The sea level is constantly rising in some areas with new land being formed daily; even on the major islands).

There was actually a vote before the state Senate last month that would grant gaming rights to one casino to serve all of the islands; it would be a 20 year license with a flat 15% tax on all goods and services. At the last minute, however, the Senate completely scrapped the idea without giving any explanation whatsoever…the bill was simply tossed out like yesterday’s trash. Another popular idea that never gained any momentum was to allow full casino gambling with Hawaiian residents receiving a split of 80% of the profit, similar to what Indian Reservations do within the United States and Canada.

If you have to have gambling on your annual vacation and your spouse is dead-set on Hawaii, all we can tell you is to bring your laptop and hit up some online casinos. Unfortunately, it does not look like legislation will be passed any time soon to legalize any type of gambling in Hawaii. We still encourage our readers to check out this stunning paradise at least once in their lives, but you might want to get an overnight layover in Vegas on the way.

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