March 8, 2024 3 min read


Legalization of Gambling, Marijuana Unlikely to Gain Traction in Hawaii

Despite efforts of lawmakers in the state, the legalization of gambling activities and marijuana have a small chance to pick up speed

Hawaii is among a handful of states that have incredibly strict laws when it comes to gambling. The state doesn’t offer sports betting, horse racing or lotteries. Poker, casino gambling and even bingo are illegal in Hawaii and the state’s tough laws even prohibit casino gambling on cruise ships within Hawaii waters.

Despite the tough rules, many residents of Hawaii enjoy gambling activities and often visit Las Vegas. With that in mind, state lawmakers have already identified the potential of the gambling sector and for years have been trying to legalize gambling activities. Regretfully, none of the efforts so far have gained much traction through the state legislature, leaving residents the option to visit other states such as Nevada to gamble.

Different bills in the Hawaii Senate and House have proposed the legalization of online gambling, casino retail gambling, betting on sports and daily fantasy sports. Yet, while some bills have transitioned from the 2023 legislative session into the ongoing session, none have gained much traction for the moment. Moreover, some of the gambling proposals have not gone through reading this session, which is already halfway through.

More Support Is Needed for the Legalization of Gambling and Marijuana

According to Neal Milner, a political analyst, who was recently interviewed by the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, gambling doesn’t get much traction in Hawaii due to insufficient consistency and support. “Gambling doesn’t get any (tail) winds here because it never gets any (tail) winds,” he explained. Moreover, Milner said: “It needs a kind of constituency, a very broad constituency, that the pro gambling people have never been able to get here.”

According to him, many Hawaii residents like gambling and visit Las Vegas. However, Milner said, that those residents do not visit Sin City only to gamble but also to spend time with their friends and family while enjoying different performances and world-class restaurants. “It’s not just gambling. It’s a different kind of experience—shows and easy flights. Vegas knows how to cater to Hawaii people,” explained the expert.

Besides the legalization of gambling, Milner spoke about the efforts to legalize marijuana in Hawaii. He predicted that it is likely for lawmakers to retain their “very cautious” approach on the subject, a stance that may ultimately impact the future of marijuana legalization in the state.

In contrast, last year alone, several states have initiated efforts toward legalization of the medical cannabis and the recreational use of marijuana by adults. So far, the recreational use of marijuana is legal in nearly two dozen states, while more than a dozen have legalized the use of cannabis for medical purposes.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

1 Comment

  • Brian Kelly
    March 8, 2024 at 3:12 pm

    There is absolutely no doubt now that the majority of Americans want to completely legalize cannabis nationwide. Our numbers grow on a daily basis.

    The prohibitionist view on cannabis is the viewpoint of a minority and rapidly shrinking percentage of Americans. It is based upon decades of lies and propaganda.

    Each and every tired old lie they have propagated has been thoroughly proven false by both science and society.

    Their tired old rhetoric no longer holds any validity. The vast majority of Americans have seen through the sham of cannabis prohibition in this day and age. The number of prohibitionists left shrinks on a daily basis.

    With their credibility shattered, and their not so hidden agendas visible to a much wiser public, what’s left for a cannabis prohibitionist to do?

    Maybe, just come to terms with the fact that Cannabis Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think, and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

    Legalize Nationwide!…and Support All Cannabis Legalization Efforts!

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