Sports betting has been one of the earliest forms of gambling legalized in several states. However, some states in the US still ban all gambling activities, including sports betting.
Is sports betting legal in Hawaii? The short answer is: no. Out of all states in the US, Hawaii is one of the two that ban all forms of gambling, including sports betting. Although PASPA (The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) has allowed each state to propose a regulation for sports betting, it’s still considered illegal.
All forms of gambling include casinos, charitable games, bingos, and even the state lottery. There isn’t a single casino or tribal casino in Hawaii. The prohibition also extends to all virtual bettings, so players residing in Hawaii can’t participate in online sports betting.
Like Hawaii, Utah also bans all forms of betting, including casinos, lotteries, horse betting, bingo, and lotteries. The Utah Governor firmly stated that sports betting negatively impacts the integrity of sports, and there’s no plan to legalize gambling anytime soon.
On the other hand, offshore betting websites have no clear regulations. Still, Utah players must be careful in doing real money transactions when playing on offshore websites, as there won’t be any solution if the site mistreats them.
Gambling Laws in Other US States
Excluding Utah and Hawaii, gambling activities are considered legal. However, the definition of legal can be different according to each state. Some states allow entirely offline and online gambling without considering any other aspect. Some other states only consider gambling legal when the casino or betting operator holds a license.
Some states partially allow gambling according to the game type. For example, New Jersey considers horse, casino, and sports betting legal. On the other hand, Washington allows horse betting while banning other kinds of sports betting. In Washington’s case, only Native American tribal lands are eligible to operate casinos and offer the products.
Regulations on online gambling can be confusing as well. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 states that operating gambling sites in the US (anywhere) is illegal. However, the law doesn’t ban residents from participating in online gambling. As an answer to the Act, multiple international betting sites allow American residents to register and gamble on the site.
Specifically for sports betting, after PASPA permitted the legalization of sportsbooks, the online gambling market flourished in the US. Sports betting sites started to be regulated regularly, and mobile sports betting had become legal in 26 states by 2023.