Gambling is a popular pastime that can generate a lot of civic revenue in places that have legalized some form of gambling. In some states, revenue from gambling and lottery systems can help pay for the schools. Almost anywhere you go, there is some form of gambling.
In fact, gambling is so popular that the behavior persists even in places where gambling is in no way legalized. Hawaii is one such place. Hawaii is one of only two states that has no form of legalized gambling at this time, but that doesn't stop people from wanting to gamble.
While states like Nevada may have large casinos and other states have race tracks, Hawaii has no official, legal gambling options. Anyone caught gambling, whether they bet their own money or arrange the bets, could face criminal charges.
Businesses have the right to fight charges related to gambling
Hawaii is relatively aggressive about enforcing its ban on gambling. Still, some local businesses have found a way around gambling prohibition. The inclusion of sweepstakes machines in businesses is one manner in which people indulge in the desire to gamble without overtly breaking the law. There are also some establishments that allow people to gamble on poker games and similar events, though the establishments and participants risk legal charges.
Perfectly reputable business owners in Hawaii can find themselves arrested and their assets seized over allegations of gambling or permitting gambling. The state has actively pursued shutting down gambling operations in recent years. While that may seem like a hopeless situation, in reality, business owners, like anyone accused of a crime, have the right to mount a defense.
It is possible to defend against allegations that you allow gambling on your premises. It is even possible to get back the property seized by law enforcement, in some cases. However, it is important that everyone involved in the investigation takes great care to behave responsibly. Working with a criminal defense attorney is usually the first step in any kind of situation involving criminal allegations of gambling.
The laws against gambling in Hawaii may eventually change
The strict laws in Hawaii prohibiting gambling are under constant pressure from both enthusiasts and business owners who would like to see some forms of gambling legalized. The end result could be the legalization of licensed casinos or even poker houses and tournaments. However, it will likely take some time before the state revises its stance on gambling.
In the meantime, individuals who get caught gambling or businesses who permit any form of gambling on their premises could find themselves in legal trouble. Defending against gambling charges is important, as the charges can often include secondary offenses, such as racketeering. Convictions could mean hefty fines or even time in jail.