Hawaii online pokerHawaii is one of two states where nearly all forms of gambling are illegal, but you can win real money prizes today playing sweepstakes poker in the Aloha State.

Sweepstakes law allows online poker operators to do business in Hawaii and most other states. It’s a rare cutout for what is otherwise a very conservative state when it comes to gambling — consider that Hawaii doesn’t have land-based casinos, sports betting in any form, or even a state lottery.

But Hawaii does have online poker and, in a sign that things could be changing, a bill to create a regulated market for online poker in Hawaii was introduced in 2024. The bill ultimately died in committee, but lawmakers in the Aloha State are starting to question whether so many forms of gambling need to remain illegal.

We recommend Sweepstakes online poker in Hawaii Until a regulated market for real money online poker takes shape in Hawaii, we recommend sweepstakes online poker. Sweepstakes sites host daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments, plus sit-and-go (SNG) action and ring games. The sites are a popular choice for players in Hawaii and other states that don’t have a legal regulated market for online poker.

We recommend two sweepstakes online poker sites for players in Hawaii: ClubWPT and Global Poker. They operate in slightly different ways (which we explain in this guide), but both offer players the opportunity to win real cash prizes. Both sites host daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments, but note that ring games on ClubWPT are only available in play-money mode.

Free-play poker apps are also available throughout the islands — from Kauai to the Big Island, and everywhere in between. We recommend such apps and other free-play sites for beginners because they give players a place to learn all about the game without having to spend any money.

Can I play online poker in Hawaii?

Yes, you can! Online poker is available to players in the Aloha State. You can either play online poker in Hawaii for real money prizes or you can play for free.

For those interested in competing for prizes that can be redeemed for real money, we recommend sweepstakes online poker. It offers an experience as close as possible to playing a real cash game. But if you’re new to online poker or you just want to play for free, we recommend free-play sites. We explain all of your online poker options in Hawaii in this guide.

Online Poker in Hawaii: Key Facts
📢 What’s LegalSweepstakes, social poker, and free-play sites
🔮Real Money Online
Poker (Regulated)
Legislation could be introduced in 2025
Main HighlightsSweepstakes poker has daily tournaments, players can win real money
🃏 Available GamesNo Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, and several niche variants
🎁 RewardsClubWPT Premium Rewards, Global Poker Daily Rewards
👥 HI Population1.4 Million (ranks 40th)

The Best Online Poker Sites in Hawaii

Hawaii is a beautiful state with plenty of things to see and do, including playing online poker. If you’re looking to play and want an experience as close as possible to a real cash game, we recommend playing sweepstakes poker.

Players can win prizes that are redeemable for real money playing sweepstakes poker. Not to create confusion, but “sweepstakes poker” is actually a term used to describe two types of online poker sites allowed under sweepstakes law in Hawaii and most other states: traditional subscription-based sites and “modern” sweepstakes sites. You can win real money prizes by playing both types of sites.

The difference between subscription and modern sweepstakes poker sites Subscription sites aren’t complicated — for a monthly fee, players can enter tournaments and win prizes redeemable for real money. With modern sweepstakes, players use real money to buy play tokens (aka Gold Coins) and receive Sweeps Coins as a gift. Sweeps Coins are considered entries into a sweepstakes — players use them to access ring games and tournaments, which award prizes that can be converted into real money.

ClubWPT is the site pokerfuse recommends for subscription-based poker, while Global Poker is the platform recommended for modern sweepstakes. Players can win real money prizes playing on both sites. Here are short descriptions of both platforms:

ClubWPT

ClubWPT online poker roomClubWPT is a subscription-based poker site based in California. The site has two paid monthly membership tiers and hosts daily tournaments that offer prizes redeemable for real money.

Some tournaments offer players a chance to win entry to events on the popular World Poker Tour. ClubWPT offers sit-and-go (SNG) and ring games, but the latter is only available in play money mode, which means players can’t win real money prizes through ring games.

Read our full review of ClubWPT »

Global Poker

Global Poker online poker roomGlobal Poker is a modern sweepstakes poker site. Players use real money to buy play tokens (aka Gold Coins) and receive Sweeps Coins as a gift. Gold Coins can only be used for play-money games and have no monetary value, but Sweeps Coins are used to access sweepstakes tables, where players can win prizes that can be redeemed for real money.

The Australia-based operator offers regular MTT series that feature large guarantees. Global Poker also has a reputation for awarding special prizes to winners of its tournaments, including custom-made trophies, branded merchandise, and unique avatars.

Read our full review of Global Poker »

Social and Free-Play Poker in Hawaii

You have the option of playing online poker for free in the Aloha State, too. There are free-play apps available for download and so-called “social poker” sites where players don’t have to spend any money. Both are great options for new players or for anyone still trying to learn the mechanics of online poker.

Zynga Poker, Replay Poker, and Governor of Poker are among the more popular free-play sites available in Hawaii. Social media platforms like Facebook also offer online poker for free. Two of the world’s most popular real money online poker operators, PokerStars and WSOP, also have free versions of their online poker product — with the hope that players on their free sites will eventually migrate to their “paid” sites, and assuming the players live in a state with regulated real money online poker.

Remember that your ability to develop a winning poker strategy will be extremely limited if you only play free-play sites, since there isn’t any real money at stake. But free-play and social poker sites are recommended for anyone new to online poker.

Why doesn’t Hawaii have casinos and other forms of gambling? The Aloha State is averse to legalizing land-based casinos, fearful that it would attract a form of tourism that runs counter to its brand as a family-friendly destination. Additionally, cruise ships are not allowed to conduct on-board casino gaming while in port. But attitudes could be changing: A bill to regulate online poker and sports betting was introduced in 2024.

Real Money Online Poker in Hawaii

After a series of wildfires devastated parts of the island of Maui in August 2023, lawmakers started to consider whether regulating real money online poker and sports betting would be a good way to generate money to help wildfire victims and to prevent future wildfires across the islands.

Senator Ronald Kouchi (D-Kauai, Niihau) introduced SB 3376 in January 2024. The bill called for creating a Hawaii Gaming Control Commission (HGCC), which would have been authorized to issue a gaming license to a single operator for online poker and sports betting. There would be no retail sportsbooks and both online and land-based casinos would still be kapu — native Hawaiian for forbidden.

SB 3376 never made it out of any of the four Senate committees it was assigned to. The bill died when the Hawaii State Legislature adjourned sine die on May 3. Lawmakers could try again in 2025.

If the idea of legalizing online poker and sports betting without online casino sounds familiar, that’s because it is — gaming proponents in Kentucky tried to do the same thing in that state for years, but to no avail. They were ultimately successful in legalizing sports betting, without poker, in March 2023.

Avoid offshore real money online poker sites in Hawaii While you’re in the Aloha State, you may come across real money online poker sites based offshore. We strongly discourage anyone from playing poker on these sites because they are not reputable. Many players come away from the experience feeling cheated. We recommend playing sweepstakes online poker instead. Read our Independent Guide to Online Poker to learn more.

Failed 2024 Bill Had Its Shortcomings

There were problems with SB 3376, the bill that fell short in 2024. First and foremost, it only allowed for licensure of a single commercial operator. While this is certainly better than a lottery-based model for real money online poker, it’s also nice to have competition. (Note: Hawaii doesn’t have a state lottery).

Second, SB 3376 didn’t include verbiage requiring an operator to offer both online poker and sports betting. That means there was nothing preventing Hawaii’s new regulator from issuing a license to the likes of Bally’s, DraftKings, ESPN Bet, Fanatics, or FanDuel — gaming operators that don’t have an online poker platform, and likely never will.

Third, the failed bill didn’t specify a tax rate but did include a graduated system for the operator to give a percentage of its gross revenue for the previous fiscal year. The only problem is that the operator would have paid 70% to the state after the first full year of operations, with payments only decreasing by 5% for each subsequent year. Some operators may be sour on Hawaii because of the initial high rate.

That said, igaming supporters in the Hawaii State Legislature could try again in 2025. The state is still looking for a source of income to help wildfire victims and to prevent new ones.

Sites That Could Launch in Hawaii

Should Hawaii move forward with plans to create a regulated market for real money online poker, it will likely want to join the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA), a multi-state compact that helps support online poker. Operators are allowed to combine their player pools across multiple MSIGA states. The shared liquidity from these combinations lead to bigger tournaments and bigger prizes.

Membership in MSIGA is considered essential to helping get online poker established in a small market. Hawaii would be a small market — it ranks 40th in terms of population with just 1.4 million residents.

Delaware, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and West Virginia are the five states in MSIGA. Of those five, only Michigan and New Jersey have more than one active operator.

Depending upon how any future igaming legislation is written, Hawaii could become part of up to four online poker networks in the US — if it establishes a regulated market for real money online poker and subsequently joins MSIGA. We think operators could establish the following networks to include the Aloha State, but keep in mind these matchups are purely hypothetical:

Operator Likely Hawaii Brand Hypothetical Network Plans
BetRivers Poker BetRivers Poker Hawaii Poker platform being developed by Rush Street Interactive (RSI). A three-state network across HI-MI-NJ seems the most likely scenario, but they could also add Delaware.
BetMGM Poker BetMGM Hawaii Could create a four-state network across HI-MI-NJ-NV, but the operator would first need to launch in Nevada and combine its MI and NJ player pools.
PokerStars USA PokerStars Hawaii Like BetRivers, could set up a three-state network across HI-MI-NJ.
WSOP Online WSOP Hawaii Could make a four-state network of HI-MI-NJ-NV, just like BetMGM. WSOP is the only operator in Nevada, but it lost access to Delaware in late 2023.

Hawaii Online Poker FAQ

Is online poker legal in Hawaii?

Yes, you can play online poker in Hawaii and it is completely legal and safe. We recommend sweepstakes poker sites if you’re looking to win prizes that can be redeemed for real money. Free-play and social poker sites are recommended for anyone looking to play online poker without spending any money.

Are subscription poker sites available in Hawaii?

Yes, subscription-based poker sites are available to players in Hawaii. We recommend ClubWPT for subscription poker. For a monthly fee, players get access to tables that offer real money prizes.

Does Hawaii have modern sweepstakes poker?

Yes, you will also find online poker sites that follow the modern sweepstakes model in Hawaii. Under this model, players use real money to buy play tokens (aka Gold Coins) and receive Sweeps Coins as a gift. Players use Sweeps Coins to get a seat at sweepstakes tables that offer real money prizes. Global Poker is the modern sweepstakes poker site recommended by pokerfuse.

Can I play online cash games in Hawaii?

Yes, Global Poker has cash games. Since it’s a modern sweepstakes poker site, players will need Sweeps Coins to access the tables that offer prizes that can be redeemed for real money.

Does Hawaii have online poker tournaments?

You will find online poker tournaments from Hawaii every day; both ClubWPT and Global Poker host daily tournaments. They also both offer weekly and monthly tournaments. Some of the contests are branded series unique to the operator, which makes winning one an even more special experience.

What types of poker games are available online?

Most tournament action on ClubWPT is No-Limit Texas Hold’em (NLH). Most tournaments on Global Poker are also NLH, but the modern sweepstakes poker site also offers variants like Omaha Hi-Lo. You will also find bounty tournaments and sit-and-go (SNG) tournaments on Global Poker.

Is PokerStars legal in Hawaii?

No, PokerStars and other real money online poker operators in the US — BetMGM and WSOP — are not available in the Aloha State. If the state sets up a regulated market for online poker, PokerStars (and the others) could be interested in launching there, but it would depend on factors like the tax rate and whether or not the state is in a multi-state gaming compact for poker, like MSIGA.

Will Hawaii regulate online poker anytime soon?

That’s a good question. At this early stage, there appears to be at least some interest in regulating online poker but keep in mind that resistance to gambling in the Aloha State runs deep — Hawaii is one of only five states that doesn’t have a lottery. In fact, Hawaii is one of just two US states without most forms of gambling (I’m looking at you, Utah).

Can I play online poker on offshore sites?

We don’t recommend playing online poker on offshore sites because they don’t offer the same consumer protections as legal, regulated sites. When players disclose their personal information on such sites they put themselves at risk of identity theft. Federal officials have warned US citizens not to play poker on offshore sites because they have no legal recourse to collect winnings owed to them.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500