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Hawaii – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
The beautiful island state of Hawaii is considered to have some of the strictest gambling laws in the whole US. Often compared with the strict betting laws of Utah, Hawaii currently has a complete blanket ban on all forms of gambling activities, both online and land-based. Over 40 of the 50 states making up the USA operate some form of a state-run lottery, including participation in the large national lotteries like the Mega Millions and Powerball. The Aloha state is one of the few that neither participates nor have any lottery of their own.
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More information about Hawaii – Online Casinos & Gambling Regulations
The lack of any legalized gambling means that would-be players will often take to the internet for a solution. Online casinos that are based overseas are not subject to US laws, due to being based outside of the jurisdiction of the country. This does however mean that any account registration or wagering you do will be at your own risk, as no legal recourse is made available to residents of restricted territories. If you are still committed to playing online then please be aware of the risks and legalities attached, as well as some basic questions you can ask yourself, to help verify the integrity of the establishment.
- Is the casino fully licensed?
- Do reviews and player feedback create a trustworthy image?
- Can players from the US register?
- Are US dollars or cryptocurrencies supported?
- Will you be able to participate in any promotions?
Playing in a restricted market means doing your homework. Ensuring that you are aware of the legalities, potential risks and the telltale signs of an illegitimate operation all require time and work. At GoodLuckMate we write casino reviews and articles where the hard work has already been done. Our writers endeavor to provide you with accurate and up to date information, collected into a concise and easy to read package.
Ever since achieving statehood back in 1959, the Hawaiin has remained committed to its anti-gambling policies. While the law is clear and does include activities on overseas online casinos, the local government’s jurisdiction only goes as far as state lines. The ownage is therefore squarely placed on the individual player being subject to a petty misdemeanor offense. Such offenses can be actioned with a year in prison and a $2,000 fine. While there have been past cases of people being caught for playing locally, we were unable to find any evidence of a case brought up regarding online play.
The past couple of years has seen attempts being made to open up the legislation, however with little success. There are around 10 gambling laws currently in review that have yet to make progress since 2018. Nonetheless, there is still a lot of hope for changes to come in the near future, as a number of states have regulated the online market in recent years. Delaware and Pennsylvania are two states that have been able to enjoy a big intake of tax benefits thanks to opening up the online market and their success stories have given rise to hopes of the rest of the country following suit.
Despite the current regulations, most online casinos are already in a great position to offer up a well-localized experience for Hawaiin residents. English is the default of the vast majority of sites, making them instantly accessible for US players. There are also several major events that are already prime focal points for many establishments, such as the Superbowl and NBA matches. Currency and payment options are usually not a problem either for Americans, as many of the default payment settings match many of the popular methods used within the country.
Even though most online casinos are based in Europe, US dollars are still a commonly supported currency when going from site to site. Dollars are usually set up alongside euros to offer players a default currency, should their local currency not be supported. This also means that you can usually find a variety of available payment options, suitable for dollar transactions.
The issue that most American players face is the restrictions imposed upon them by their banks. Often a bank’s policy will include the blocking of any transaction that they suspect being made towards gambling-related activities. That is one of the reasons that E-wallets and cryptocurrencies have proven themselves incredibly popular with players. These methods act as an alternative way of making payments online without the need of including your bank in the process.
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even in the highly restricted state of Hawaii, some clever people have found a way to make gambling work. Honolulu houses a couple of cruise ships stocked up with casino games. These games are all locked up and unavailable when the ships are docked, however, the casino quickly comes alive when the ship hits international waters. Another alternative is the social casinos and fantasy sports events that players can legally participate in. Social casinos offer up classic table games and other activities that players can compete in without the use of any real money. Fantasy sports scratches the sports betting itch by creating a skill-based format that avoids falling into the domain of gambling.
For actual real-money wagering on the internet, residents would need to go outside the means of the law. This opens up the potential trap of falling into illegitimate black-market sites that prey on unregulated or restricted territories. It is our hope that Hawaii will eventually follow the example of states like Pennsylvania by opening up a regulated casino game and sports betting market that can be monitored and taxed while opening up options for social support programs.