Online Sports Betting in HawaiiPublished: | Updated:
Sports betting in Hawaii remains illegal. Known as the “Aloha State” for the Hawaiian way of saying both hello and goodbye, Hawaii is the only U.S. state to be comprised entirely of islands. Of its 132 total islands, only seven are actually populated. While you might wonder why gambling in totality is illegal there, the leading source of income for Hawaii is tourism.
Aloha State in 2024
The economy is buoyed by tourism and an abundance of natural resources. You can count soil, sugarcane, pineapple, coffee, and macadamia nuts as some of the most important sources of statewide income for the economy.
The only U.S. state with two official languages (English and Hawaiian), Hawaii is home to many celebrities and well-known figures in American culture. The 44th president of the United States, Barack Obama, was born there. Iconic American singer, actress, and comedian Bette Midler was born there as well.
From a sporting perspective, the sport of surfing is assumed to have originated in Hawaii. Once only reserved for Hawaiian royalty, it’s now one of the most popular water sports in the world. It was only in 1819 that “commoners” were allowed to participate in the sport as well.
Sports Culture in Hawaii
It remains to be seen if sports betting will ever be legalized in Hawaii. It’s difficult to create a retail sports betting environment, as the state features no professional sports teams and only one collegiate program. Another difficulty presented is the change in the time zone. The East Coast is six hours ahead of Hawaiian time (HST), meaning that something like a 1 pm EST football game would begin at 7 am HST. This makes the fan engagement element of sports betting notably more difficult.
Hawaii would benefit from a system like Tennessee
Tennessee’s sports betting regulations have operations solely in an online capacity. In Tennessee, books aren’t required to have any sort of relationship with a land-based entity.
Popular Sports for Hawaiians for Sports Betting in 2024
Despite featuring no professional sports teams, Hawaii does have a much-loved collegiate football program. The University of Hawaii Rainbow Warriors have been a consistently okay team, making a couple of appearances in the Hawai’i Bowl in the last ten years. As recently as 2020, they defeated the University of Houston in the New Mexico Bowl.
While the University of Hawaii does also have a popular men’s basketball program, they’ve been consistently a below-average program in terms of winning percentage.
Surfing would present an excellent option, but betting markets on surfing are often very limited.
Golf represents another excellent sport to bet on, as the PGA Tour usually comes to Hawaii during the Sony Open.
Tennis is yet another popular sports option, as Hawaii Open brings some of the world’s best and most talented players to the state. The event is one of the most popular sporting occasions on the island.
High school football and rugby are also very popular sports, though betting on high school sports is widely prohibited in the United States.
Famous Athletes from Hawaii
- Duke Kahanamoku (5x Olympic medalist in swimming)
- Rabbit Kekai (Surfers’ Hall of Fame inductee, most dominant surfer in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s)
- Chad Rowan (Sumo wrestler who achieved the rank of Yokozuna in 1993)
- Olin Kreutz (6x Pro Bowl center, First-Team All-Pro in 2006, and one of the 100 greatest Bears of all time)
- B.J. Penn (MMA fighter, 5th-degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu with 16 career wins, UFC Hall of Fame)
- Brian Ching (MLS star, MLS Comeback Player of the Year, MLS Golden Boot winner)
- Michelle Wie (the youngest player to ever qualify for the USGA amateur championship and LGPA tour event, 2014 U.S. Women’s Open winner)
- Sid Fernandez (2x All-Star, World Series Champion, 114 career wins and 1,700+ career strikeouts)
- Russ Francis (Super Bowl champion, 3x Pro Bowler as a tight end)
Responsible Gambling in Hawaii
If you are ever in need, call the contact for the National Problem Gambling Helpline at 1-800-GAMBLER or chat: www.1800gamblerchat.org. It is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to offer support, resources, and referrals to anyone affected by problem gambling. Want to learn more about online casinos and sports gambling? Follow our Online Gamblers Academy and learn how to have fun responsibly!
Currently, sports betting is illegal in Hawaii, and there are no immediate plans to legalize it.
No, it is illegal to participate in any form of sports betting from Hawaii, including online sports betting.
Yes, Hawaii offers a variety of legal alternatives to sports betting, including daily fantasy sports and horse racing.
Daily fantasy sports is a game where participants select a virtual roster of real-life athletes and earn points based on their performance. It is legal in Hawaii.
There are several racetracks in Hawaii where you can watch and place bets on horse racing.
No, betting on any college sports is illegal in Hawaii.
While it’s always possible for laws to change, there are no current plans to legalize sports betting in Hawaii.
Participating in illegal sports betting in Hawaii can result in fines and even imprisonment.
As sports betting is illegal in Hawaii, there is no proper data on the most popular sports to bet on, but people enjoy watching Golf, Tennis, and other sports.