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Legislature Considers Study Of Online Sports Betting In Hawaii

The Thinker statue in front of Hawaiian islands

Hawaii is one of a dozen states in the US that doesn’t permit domestic sports betting. That reality is due to an overall aversion to gambling by local politicians, but there are signs that those stances are beginning to soften in the Aloha State.

HI HCR70 and its companion bill, HI HR55, were debated, amended, and passed by the Hawaii State Senate yesteday. These bills task the Hawaii Department Of Business, Economic Development, And Tourism with conducting a local sports betting analysis.

This study would form a group to analyze the impact sports betting in Hawaii would have on the economy, the tourism industry, and whether it would affect the status of unlicensed operators.

Illegal gambling houses have become an escalating problem in HI over the past decade. Their emergence is one parameter pushing the sports betting issue in the legislature, as many lawmakers feel there is potential for legal options to weed out any bad actors.

What Will The Analysis Seek To Find?

  • The anticipated financial data regarding the handle, hold, and tax collections generated by domestic online sports betting in Hawaii.
  • A proper model for oversight and regulation. The study will include research on current legal sports betting states and devise a strategy that best suits Hawaii’s needs.
  • Assess the best practices for problem gaming identification, prevention, and help.
  • The experiences, both negative and positive, that other regions have experienced following the legalization of sports betting.

The massive sports betting revenue reports across the United States don’t motivate Hawaii as they do in other regions. They are not subject to budget shortfalls or ongoing environmental crises that siphon tax dollars.

HI is also immune to the temptation of bordering states that house domestic sportsbooks or feature online sports betting apps. This geographical concern has caused many other states to pass legal sports betting bills of their own, but Hawaii is over two thousand miles away from the nearest local sportsbook.

That’s why we’re exercising caution here. While this study is certainly a move that would indicate the potential for local sportsbooks to become legal, there is still plenty of opposition to sports betting in HI.

This data must be collected and finalized in time to be debated during the 2026 legislative session, ensuring at least two more years without domestic sports gambling.

For now, locals will continue to rely on offshore sportsbook sites to gamble online. International operators can legally accept members across the US, Hawaii included, and allow them to bet on sports over the web.


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