There are just two among the 50 U.S. states where all forms of gambling are strictly forbidden. Utah is one and Hawaii is the other. There are no lotteries or casinos. Even bingo is off-limits. Sports betting is prohibited and so is pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing.
The closest any Hawaiian islander can get to place a bet is by boarding one of two cruise ships that dock in Honolulu. Once they reach international waters, they provide casino gambling to their passengers.
Hawaii Betting Racing History
There is horse racing in Hawaii. Every fourth of July, the Parker Ranch in Kamuela celebrates U.S. independence, as well as the legacy of the Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) with a day of rodeo competitions and thoroughbred horse racing. This event has been taking place since 1947. Of course, no wagering is permitted on any of the races.
Hawaii holds a strong and rich legacy when it comes to horse racing. King David Kalakaua founded the Hawaiian Jockey Club in 1872 but there are accounts of racing in Hawaii that date back into the 1850s. The sport was said to have been very popular with Hawaiian royalty. Top racing lines were imported from England in an effort to improve the quality of the Hawaiian-bred horses. Horse racing flourished in Hawaii well into the early 1950s.
Racing was held at Kapiʻolani Park until the racetrack closed in 1926. The Oʻahu Jockey Club built the Kailua Race Track and opened it in 1939. Racing was held there until 1952.
Estimates are that there are some 15,000 horses in Hawaii. Efforts have been made by state politicians to legalize pari-mutuel racing but the proposed bills are always met with resistance and ultimately fail to acquire the necessary support to move forward.
Hawaii Horse Betting FAQs
No, all forms of gambling are strictly forbidden in Aloha State.
Nor are there any live racing venues in the state.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, because horse betting is illegal in Hawaii.