The first thing about gambling that a gambler visiting Hawaii would like to know is the position of the state laws regarding poker, sports betting and such other gaming activities in the country. In places where gambling is illegal, many people end up facing prosecution because of either engaging in gambling activities or running enterprises that offer those services.
And when it comes to the law, it is good to note that legality of gambling may be partial. Sometimes state laws may allow gambling in specific places like casinos while barring gambling activities in bars, clubs and such other smaller entertainment places. There are other times too when state laws permit gambling activities on land – brick and mortar casinos and so on – but not online. That is why some countries deem poker to be legal but on a closer look at the poker law one finds that online poker is illegal. Other times the state poker law allows citizens to participate only on sites hosted within the home country. There are even those state laws that prohibit foreign poker players and other foreign gamblers from playing on local sites.
When it comes to the legality of gambling in the state of Hawaii, the law is explicit as far as gambling within ships is concerned – it is outright illegal. Gambling is also banned along the Hawaii coastline. One thing that travelers should have in mind is that in venues where the state laws expressly ban gambling, it is illegal too to be in possession of items and facilities that can abet gambling activities. This implies that the authorities would find fault in someone carrying a slot machine and such other gaming devices on ships destined to dock in Hawaii. Other things that can lead authorities to picking you for questioning in relation to gambling offenses, even poker related offenses, include being in possession of gambling records; engaging in bookmarking; and generally promoting gambling in one form or another.
On the overall, Hawaii is not the place for a professional gambler. Playing poker or any other betting game is banned from public places and people only engage in such games at a social level. It is important to keep in mind that hotels, motels, bars as well as nightclubs are public places where gambling cannot take place.
Lottery in Hawaii
Hawaii does not run a state lottery and its state laws do not endorse the running of a lottery by private persons. In short, any person caught in possession of lottery tickets would have to answer to the law. This has been a little tricky for residents of Hawaii who live along the borders where lotteries are run in the neighboring countries.
Seriousness of gambling offenses in Hawaii
Gambling is taken as a serious offense in Hawaii; in fact, a criminal offense. However, the citizens cannot claim ignorance of the law as the state laws are clear and the authorities are diligent on maintaining them. It is not surprising to see an offender jailed for gambling related offenses in Hawaii. Still, it does not necessarily mean that one faces jail time for playing online poker or engaging in a betting game on a ship. Gambling offenses in the country are categorized in levels of seriousness and proportionate fines and other consequences meted.
Online gambling in Hawaii
As the state laws stand today, nobody is really certain if playing online poker in Hawaii constitutes a breach of the law or not. That means poker enthusiasts do engage in their preferred pastime and often play for real money. After all, they can choose to avoid playing poker on sites hosted locally and still play on sites that are hosted in other states where online poker is legal.