In the vast majority of U.S. States, betting odds are available for virtually all sports and games. This is because bookmakers and racing authorities work in conjunction with each other and with State and Federal governments to ensure that every horse, dog, and motorcycle race has appropriate wagering opportunities.
In the State of Hawaii, this is not the case. Despite the fact that horse and dog racing are popular pastimes in the state, gambling on these sports is not permitted. It’s not like the State is trying to keep gambling to a minimum or discourage people from taking a chance. Quite the opposite, in fact. The law that bans sports betting in Hawaii is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA).
The Law Makes It Hard To Predict The Future Of Online Gambling In Hawaii
UIGEA was designed to stop the practice of online betting and gambling that was common prior to its passage in 2006. Before the law went into effect, U.S. citizens were able to engage in online gambling in states where it was legal. However, as soon as UIGEA went into effect, online gambling operations in Hawaii were forced to shut down.
The situation is similar with regards to sports betting. Despite the fact that the majority of States allow for some form of legal sports betting, Hawaii is one of the few that actually prohibits it. It would seem that bookmakers in the State are technically breaking the law by offering odds on sporting events that are held in the Islands. It is difficult to know what the legal status of online betting and online gaming will be in the future of Hawaii.
It’s Hard To Find A Place To Bet In Hawaii
One of the major disadvantages of being unable to place bets in Hawaii is that it makes it that bit harder for sports fans who live in the State to fully participate in the gambling landscape. It doesn’t make much sense to prohibit gambling in general, but to specifically prohibit betting on certain sports, is a bit disconcerting.
One of the reasons behind this law is that the State doesn’t want to encourage gambling or shady business practices. It’s a fair point, but it also makes it harder for legitamate sports bookmakers and gambling operators to do business in the Islands. In many cases, these businesses will have to apply for a license and pay a fee, just to legally be able to place a bet. This places a significant burden on those who want to operate a sports book or gambling venue in Hawaii. It also means that those who want to participate in illegal gambling will have an easier time doing so, since there are no legal safeguards in place to prevent them.
Hawaii Isn’t Interested In Attracting New Residents
Apart from making it illegal to engage in gambling in Hawaii, UIGEA also prevents the state from accepting wagers from outside its borders. It is hard to fathom how a law that was designed to stop internet gambling could actually prove to be a major benefit to the State. After all, the only people that will be able to place online wagers in Hawaii will be those who live outside of the State.
Those who want to live in a legal and secure environment where they can feel comfortable engaging in online gambling will be severely disadvantaged by this law. It doesn’t seem right to impose significant limitations on the basic right to gamble. This could cause a lot of problems for the many tourists who visit Hawaii each year and want to take a punt on sports.
The Minority Community Benefits Most From Legalized And Regulated Gambling
A common argument put forward by legalizers of online gambling is that it allows for a level of income and opportunity that the less fortunate members of society would otherwise be incapable of achieving.
It’s difficult to quantify and measure this aspect of online gambling, but statistics do show that the minority community, specifically African-Americans, stand to gain the most from legalized and regulated gambling. Studies have shown that up to 90% of African-American voters support online gambling, due to the fact that it provides a safer and easier way for them to take a chance.
It is important to note here that the majority of those who back legal gambling are sensible, informed voters who realize the potential downsides of illegal activity and the dangers of addiction to online betting and gambling. It’s important not to demonize the entire African-American community, because there are also many responsible, law-abiding citizens among them. It’s just that those who are less fortunate sometimes find themselves in situations that they cannot control – such as being tempted by illegal offers on shady websites, or involved in criminal activities because of their addiction to gambling. These are issues that the minority community would do well to tackle, rather than leave unattended.
How Can Technology Save The Day?
It is easy to see how technological improvements have made it possible to place wagers anytime and from anywhere. Thanks to the existence of online sportsbooks and gambling venues, it is now possible to take a punt on any sporting event, from anywhere in the world. With mobile phones, tablet computers, and the online world, we have the advantage of being able to access information, anytime and from anywhere. This is undoubtedly a good thing, especially when you consider the amount of time and effort that could be saved, by not having to search for odds, or try and fathom which State you might be able to wager in, once you arrive.
While the future of online gambling and gaming in Hawaii is uncertain, at least they’ll have the opportunity to re-assess the situation, after they’ve been deprived of this basic right for a decade. For now, at least, we’re all just going to have to make do with a dwindling choice of sports and games to bet on.