(Population of 1.42 million as of 2014)
As Rose said, Hawaii is one of only two states without any form of gaming (no casinos, lottery, horse racing, etc.). However, unlike Utah, there are proponents for gaming. In 2010, the idea of bringing a casino to the state was bantered about in the legislature, though the effort ultimately failed.
In 2013, S.B. No. 768, a bill aimed to bring iGaming to the islands, was introduced to the legislature, and it made some strong points.
"The legislature finds that Internet wagering on games of chance and games of skill has evolved into a core form of entertainment for millions of individuals worldwide," the bill said. "In over eighty-five jurisdictions across the world, Internet gambling is a legalized, regulated, and taxed activity that generates billions of dollars in revenue for governments.
Currently, the United States is the largest unregulated Internet gambling market in the world. It is estimated that millions of Americans have wagered billions of dollars annually on unregulated, offshore websites, resulting in significant revenues escaping the United States economy."
It went on to say:
“The legislature also finds that tens of thousands of Hawaii residents are estimated to participate in illegal online gambling on unregulated Internet websites. These gambling websites are operated by illegal offshore operators not subject to regulation or taxation in the United States. Questions often arise about the honesty and the fairness of the games offered to Hawaii residents, but neither federal nor Hawaii laws currently provide any consumer protections for Hawaii residents who play on these websites. Moreover, tens of millions of dollars in revenues generated from online gambling are being realized by offshore operators serving Hawaii residents, but no benefits are provided to the State.”
Unfortunately, that bill failed to gain any traction, though it showed that a conversation was being had in the state. Likewise, in 2012, House Bill 2422 was introduced in the Hawaii state legislature.
The bill intended to create an Internet lottery and gaming corporation, and the state-run lottery would then be authorized to offer online poker and casino games. The bill, supported by Hawaii Representatives Joseph Souki and Angus McKelvey, also failed.
Furthermore, Hawaii Attorney General David Louie was one of 10 state attorneys to sign a letter calling for a national ban on online poker (and other online gaming), even state-authorized intrastate online poker. That by no means prohibits it, but it is a roadblock.
Hawaii could consider online poker legislation in 2017, thanks to a new bill, SB 677, introduced Jan. 20 to establish the Hawaii internet lottery and gaming corporation, according to CardPlayer.
Hawaii currently has no brick-and-mortar casinos and the state has tried in the past to pass legislation.
Chances are we won’t see iGaming in Hawaii anytime soon, but if other states start passing legislation, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the “Aloha State” revisit the issue.