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Are There Casinos in Hawaii?

Are you thinking about a trip to Hawaii and are wondering if there are casinos in Hawaii? Scroll to find out the truth about Hawaii casinos so you can plan your perfect vacation.
This post about Hawaii all-inclusive resorts was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.

Hawaii is a dreamy paradise known for its beautiful beaches, stunning waterfalls, and vibrant luaus.

People from all over the world visit to snorkel in its clear waters, hike its lush trails, and watch the sunset over the ocean. It truly is a tropical gem!

But besides all the natural beauty and fun activities, some visitors have a different question on their minds:

Are there casinos in Hawaii?

It’s an interesting thought! With all the tourists and the festive spirit, wouldn’t a casino fit right in?

Let’s dive in and find out if this paradise also offers a place for those looking to try their luck at gambling.

Why should you take my advice? I’ve visited Hawaii more than 40 times and bring a depth of firsthand Hawaii expertise unmatched in the travel sphere.

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The History of Gambling in Hawaii

Did you know that Hawaii, along with Utah, is one of the only two states in the U.S. without any form of legalized gambling?

It’s true!

Over the years, there have been attempts and discussions about setting up casinos in Hawaii, but none have ever been successful.

Why is that?

Well, many locals believe that casinos might change the relaxed and natural beauty of the islands. The Hawaiian culture and society value their traditions and close-knit community spirit. Introducing gambling could disrupt that balance.

Historically, leaders and residents have worried that casinos might bring problems, like addiction or increased crime.

They’ve often chosen to keep their paradise casino-free to maintain Hawaii’s unique charm and values.

So, while the idea of casinos in Hawaii might sound fun to some, the islands have a deep-rooted history of saying “no” to gambling.

Current Status: Are There Casinos in Hawaii?

The big question many visitors have is, “Are there casinos in Hawaii?” The straight answer? No, there aren’t any casinos on any of the Hawaiian islands. But why is that?

high contrast image of casino roulette

Hawaii is known for its laid-back vibe, natural beauty, and rich culture. One reason there aren’t casinos here is because of legal regulations.

Currently, gambling is not allowed by Hawaiian laws. This is partly to protect the islands’ unique charm and culture.

Another reason is the cultural perspective. The Hawaiian way of life places a lot of value on family, community, and nature.

Many believe that casinos could change this, possibly bringing problems or changing the way locals and visitors experience the islands.

Lastly, there’s a concern about the possible negative impacts of gambling, like addiction or crime. To maintain its paradise-like setting, Hawaii has chosen to remain free of casinos.

So, while you won’t be hitting the jackpot at a slot machine here (or even bingo), there’s a whole world of natural treasures and experiences waiting for you in Hawaii!

The Impact on Tourism

Does not having casinos in Hawaii turn tourists away? Not really!

While places like Las Vegas and Macau are known for their dazzling casinos, Hawaii has its own unique charms that draw millions of visitors every year.

Think about it: the stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture are unmatched. People come to Hawaii for its natural beauty and the Aloha spirit.

Oahu Travel Guide and 7-Day Oahu Itinerary by top Hawaii blog Hawaii Travel Spot. Image of Hawaii Honolulu couple surfers going surfing on waikiki beach with surfboards running in water. Healthy active sport lifestyle fitness people at diamond head mountain landscape.

Sure, some tourists love the thrill of a casino, but many are more excited about surfing, hiking, or simply relaxing by the ocean in Hawaii. And let’s not forget the traditional luaus, hula dancing, and snorkeling!

Compared to destinations with casinos, Hawaii offers a more tranquil and genuine experience, which many travelers prefer.

So, while casinos can be fun, Hawaii’s essence lies in its rich culture and natural wonders.

What Locals Think

When you ask Hawaiians about the no-casino policy, you get a mix of opinions. Many locals appreciate that there are no casinos because it helps preserve the authentic Hawaiian culture.

They believe the islands should remain a peaceful paradise, away from the hustle and bustle of casino crowds.

On the other hand, some think that having a casino could boost the economy, offering jobs and drawing more tourists.

However, many Hawaiians worry that this could change the spirit of the islands, making them more commercial and less genuine.

Overall, while opinions vary, a large number of Hawaiians cherish the unique character of their homeland and believe that no casinos contribute to keeping Hawaii truly special.

Las Vegas: Hawaii’s 9th Island?

You might be surprised to hear that Las Vegas is often nicknamed “Hawaii’s 9th Island.”


Because so many Hawaiians visit and even live there! The connection between Hawaii and Las Vegas is strong, with many Hawaiians frequently jetting off to Sin City for a vacation.

cityscape of Las Vegas strip Aerial view in Nevada at night USA

There are a few reasons for this bond. First, Las Vegas offers many of the entertainment options, like casinos and shows, that aren’t found in Hawaii.

So, for those Hawaiians looking for a change of pace and some exciting nightlife, Vegas is a go-to destination.

Moreover, Las Vegas has a lot of Hawaiian residents and cultural influences, from Hawaiian food restaurants to festivals. It’s a place where Hawaiians can feel at home while enjoying the perks of the mainland.

While Hawaii remains a paradise for its natural beauty and unique culture, when locals want a casino experience or a touch of the Vegas excitement, they know just where to go!

FAQs about Hawaii Casinos

Are there any casinos in Hawaii?

No, Hawaii is one of the few U.S. states that does not have any casinos.

Is gambling legal in Hawaii?

Gambling, in all its forms, is illegal in Hawaii. This includes casinos, sports betting, and lotteries.

Why doesn’t Hawaii have casinos?

The state has historically opposed gambling due to cultural, economic, and social reasons. The Hawaiian government also believes that gambling might disrupt the natural beauty and serenity of the islands.

Do Hawaiians travel elsewhere to gamble?

Yes, many Hawaiians travel to places like Las Vegas for gambling. In fact, Las Vegas is often referred to as “Hawaii’s 9th Island” because of the strong connection.

Are there any discussions or plans to open casinos in Hawaii in the future?

While there have been discussions in the past, as of now, there are no concrete plans to establish casinos in Hawaii.

How do Hawaiians feel about the no-casino policy?

Opinions vary. Some locals appreciate the absence of casinos to preserve the islands’ natural beauty and culture, while others believe casinos could boost the economy and provide jobs.

Can I participate in online gambling while in Hawaii?

Online gambling is also illegal in Hawaii. It’s essential to be aware of the local laws and avoid participating in any form of illegal gambling.

Are there any forms of legal betting in Hawaii?

Hawaii has strict anti-gambling laws. Even social poker games in homes are prohibited. There are no exceptions to the gambling prohibition.

With no casinos, what other entertainment options are there for tourists in Hawaii?

Hawaii offers a plethora of activities, including surfing, hiking, luaus, snorkeling, and exploring the islands’ rich history and culture.

Does Hawaii have a lottery?

No, Hawaii does not have a state lottery.

Can you play bingo in Hawaii?

Yes, bingo is allowed in Hawaii only for charitable purposes and not for commercial or personal profit.

Can you gamble on cruise ships in the Hawaiian islands?

Yes, cruise ships in international waters around the Hawaiian Islands can operate their onboard casinos, but not while docked at any Hawaiian port.

Does the Hawaiian government believe the absence of casinos affects tourism?

While some argue casinos could attract more tourists, the Hawaiian government believes the state’s natural beauty, culture, and activities provide a unique experience that stands out from typical casino destinations.

Hawaii Casinos Wrap Up

While Hawaii might not have casinos like some other tourist spots, it has a unique charm that’s unbeatable.

The islands are full of rich culture, breathtaking nature, and unforgettable activities that make it a top destination.

Remember, Hawaii has made specific choices to keep its environment and culture preserved.

So, when you visit, take a moment to enjoy all the wonders it offers, respect their decisions, and dive deep into the Hawaiian experience that awaits you!

Have more Hawaii questions? Find out if there are all-inclusives in Hawaii, overwater bungalows in Hawaii, how to cruise in Hawaii, and whether or not you need a passport to visit Hawaii!

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