Known as the Aloha State, Hawaii is an all-year-round tourist destination famous for its beautiful beaches, laid-back lifestyle, and friendly people. Millions of people from all over the world fly into the Hawaiian Islands to indulge in their favorite hobbies like snorkeling, hiking, and exploring the different wonders of nature. Some fly in to just simply relax and indulge in their favorite pastimes.
One really popular pastime in the U.S. is poker, and it’s estimated that there were over 60 million players online in 2021. But can people visiting Hawaii play poker? And if so, where? Read on to find out the answers to these questions.
As of this writing in 2022, Hawaii prohibits many forms of casino games, including slot machines, table games, lotteries, and sports betting. There are no commercial casinos on any of the islands, as well as any tribal casinos. There have been proposals to legalize casinos in Hawaii, but for business reasons related to its tourism industry, the State of Hawaii is uncompromising regarding casinos.
In short, experts have estimated the annual revenue from gaming in Hawaii to be between $20 – $40 million. Hawaii’s annual tourism revenue is currently around $1 billion. These figures emphasize that tourism is much more profitable to the state than constructing casinos. With that, and since land is a limited resource on the islands, the state would suffer a major loss if it utilized land to build a casino instead of using it for tourism.
2. Online Poker
Based on section 712-1223 of the Hawaiian Penal Code, the authorities of Hawaii strictly prohibit almost all forms of wagering. As such, Hawaii doesn’t allow online poker for real money either, and despite changing poker legislation around the country, there are no plans to legalize it. For those that wish to play poker online with virtual money, there are some available options – free-to-play poker apps.
Two of the most popular ones are Zynga Poker and Governor of Poker 3. If your game is Texas Hold’em, give Zynga Poker a try, and you’ll enjoy the best casual poker app. If you want to go on a role-playing poker adventure, download the Governor of Poker 3 app, and you’ll master each territory with every win. Poker with play money can be just as fun, especially while traveling the islands!
3. Home Games
Despite the Hawaiian Penal Code mentioned earlier, when it comes to home poker games, the State of Hawaii is not so strict. In fact, social casino games are permitted so long as it meets certain conditions, such as the place must not be in a hotel, bar, nightclub, or any business establishment.
There are a few other conditions, like the game must be held in a private home, the host of the game doesn’t charge any entry fees or rake the pot, and no minors are allowed to play. So, under certain conditions, home poker games are legal in Hawaii, thus friends can get together at home and play poker in a social gathering.
Hawaii is filled with many beautiful and exotic places that attract millions of people year-round. And should you crave a round of poker, you and your friends or family can still indulge in a round or two at home or online. Make sure to keep a deck of cards in your luggage and go all-in on your Hawaiian vacation!