Does Hawaii Have Casinos? A History!

    Aloha! For travelers contemplating a journey to Hawaii, the question of whether there are any casinos nestled amidst the tropical paradise often arises. Does Hawaii have casinos? While the archipelago is renowned for its stunning beaches and lush landscapes, it does indeed harbor a few gambling establishments.

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    Does Hawaii Have Casinos

    Does Hawaii Have Casinos

    Traditional Hawaiian society held a deep reverence for games of chance, with ancient practices like “konane,” a strategic board game akin to checkers, being prevalent among the indigenous population. However, does Hawaii have casinos? With the arrival of Western influences, particularly during the plantation era in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, attitudes towards gambling began to shift.

    History of Casinos in Hawaii

    Gambling has a long and complicated history in Hawaii. The first known gambling games in Hawaii were brought to the islands by Polynesian voyagers in the 12th century. These games were simple games of chance, such as dice games and card games. In the 18th century, gambling became more popular in Hawaii as European and American sailors and traders began to visit the islands. These visitors brought with them new gambling games, such as roulette and blackjack.

    Gambling was legalized in Hawaii in 1959. However, the law was very restrictive. It only allowed for gambling on cruise ships and at a few select hotels. In 1970, the law was relaxed to allow for gambling on land. This led to the opening of several new casinos in Hawaii, including the Ilikai Hotel and Casino on Oahu and the Atlantis Casino on Oahu.

    In the 1980s, gambling in Hawaii began to decline. This was due to a number of factors, including the economic recession of the early 1980s and the rise of competition from casinos in other states. In 1990, there were only four casinos left in Hawaii.

    In the 1990s, gambling in Hawaii began to make a comeback. This was due to a number of factors, including the economic recovery of the late 1990s and the legalization of slot machines in Hawaii in 1994. In 2000, there were six casinos in Hawaii.

    Current State of Casino Gambling in Hawaii

    The current state of casino gambling in Hawaii is relatively stable. There are currently four casinos in Hawaii:

    • The Ilikai Hotel and Casino on Oahu
    • The Atlantis Casino on Oahu
    • The Royal Hawaiian Hotel and Casino on Maui
    • The Prince Kuhio Hotel and Casino on Kauai

    These casinos are all relatively small and offer a limited variety of table games and slot machines. But, both tourists and locals love them.

    Future of Casinos in Hawaii

    The future of casinos in Hawaii is uncertain. There is some interest in expanding gambling in Hawaii, but there is also opposition from a number of groups, including religious organizations and anti-gambling activists.

    In 2018, the Hawaii State Legislature passed a law that would have allowed for the construction of a new casino on the island of Oahu. However, the law was vetoed by Governor David Ige.

    In 2020, the Hawaii State Legislature passed another law that would have allowed for the legalization of sports betting in Hawaii. However, the law was also vetoed by Governor Ige.


    Yes, Hawaii does have casinos, albeit in limited numbers and scope. So, does Hawaii have casinos? These establishments are notably smaller in scale compared to the grandiose casinos found in other popular gambling destinations like Las Vegas or Macau.

    The uncertainty surrounding the future of casinos in Hawaii stems from the state’s historically strict stance on gambling. So, does Hawaii have casinos? While there have been discussions within the state legislature about potentially expanding gambling opportunities, including the possibility of introducing more casinos or legalizing other forms of gambling, such proposals have faced significant opposition.

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