§712-1220  Definitions of terms in this part.  In this part unless a different meaning plainly is required, the following definitions apply[:]

     "Advance gambling activity".  A person "advances gambling activity" if the person:

     (1)  Engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity.  Conduct of this nature includes but is not limited to conduct directed toward:

          (A)  The creation or establishment of the particular game, contest, scheme, device, or activity involved;

          (B)  The acquisition or maintenance of premises, paraphernalia, equipment, or apparatus therefor;

          (C)  The solicitation or inducement of persons to participate therein;

          (D)  The actual conduct of the playing phases thereof;

          (E)  The arrangement of any of its financial or recording phases; or

          (F)  Any other phase of its operation; or

     (2)  Having substantial proprietary control or other authoritative control over premises being used with the person's knowledge for purposes of gambling activity, permits that activity to occur or continue or makes no effort to prevent its occurrence or continuation.

     "Bookmaking" means advancing gambling activity by accepting bets from members of the public upon the outcomes of future contingent events.

     "Contest of chance" means any contest, game, gaming scheme, or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.

     "Gambling".  A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.  Gambling does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, including but not limited to contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health, or accident insurance.

     "Gambling device" means any device, machine, paraphernalia, or equipment that is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, whether that activity consists of gambling between persons or gambling by a person involving the playing of a machine.  However, lottery tickets and other items used in the playing phases of lottery schemes are not gambling devices within this definition.

     "Lottery" means a gambling scheme in which:

     (a)  The players pay or agree to pay something of value for chances, represented and differentiated by numbers or by combinations of numbers or by some other medium, one or more of which chances are to be designated the winning ones; and

     (b)  The winning chances are to be determined by a drawing or by some other method based on an element of chance; and

     (c)  The holders of the winning chances are to receive something of value.

     "Mutuel" means a form of lottery in which the winning chances or plays are not determined upon the basis of a drawing or other act on the part of persons conducting or connected with the scheme, but upon the basis of the outcome or outcomes of a future contingent event or events otherwise unrelated to the particular scheme.

     "Player" means a person who engages in gambling solely as a contestant or bettor.

     "Profit from gambling activity".  A person "profits from gambling activity" if he accepts or receives money or other property pursuant to an agreement or understanding with any person whereby he participates or is to participate in the proceeds of gambling activity.

     "Social gambling" is defined in section 712-1231.

     "Something of value" means any money or property, any token, object, or article exchangeable for money or property, or any form of credit or promise directly or indirectly contemplating transfer of money or property or of any interest therein, or involving extension of a service or entertainment. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; am L 1973, c 201, pt of §1; am L 2022, c 111, §3]


Revision Note


  Numeric designation deleted pursuant to §23G-15.




  This section provides definitions of terms used repeatedly in this part of chapter 712, a discussion of the definitions is incorporated in the Commentary on the substantive sections employing the defined terms.




  Act 201, Session Laws 1973, made several changes to the definitions as previously contained in the Proposed Draft of the Code.  In Item (1), the phrase "acting other than as a player" was deleted, so that any person, including a player, advances gambling activity if the person engages in conduct that materially aids any form of gambling activity.  Also, the last sentence was added, which states:  "A person advances gambling activity if he plays or participates in any form of gambling activity."  In Item (2) the term "bookmaking" previously was defined as "advancing gambling activity by unlawfully accepting bets from members of the public as a business, rather than in a casual or personal fashion, upon the outcomes of future contingent events."  The term "unlawfully" and the phrase "as a business rather than in a casual or personal fashion" were deleted.  In Item (6), "lottery" was changed from "an unlawful gambling scheme" to "a gambling scheme."

  In Item (8), the Proposed Code, as well as the Code as adopted in 1972, had contained an extensive definition of the word "player" in an attempt to describe a player in a social gambling game.  Act 201 deleted that definition and instead defined "player" as a person who "engages in gambling solely as a contestant or bettor."  In Item (9), the phrase "other than as a player" was deleted, so that even players may "profit from gambling activity."  Item (10) is a new addition stating that "social gambling" is defined in §712-1231.  In Item (11) the phrase "or a privilege of playing at a game or scheme without charge" was deleted from the definition of "something of value."

  Act 111, Session Laws 2022, amended this section to exclude simple gambling from the definition of "advance gambling activity" by repealing the reference to the act of playing or participating in any form of gambling activity.  Conference Committee Report No. 51-22, Senate Standing Committee Report No. 3847.


Attorney General Opinions


  The activity involved in daily fantasy sports betting is gambling under the plain meaning of Hawaii's gambling statute because:  (1) the amount wagered on each daily fantasy sports contest is something of value that is being staked despite being called an "entry fee"; (2) daily fantasy sports contests are contests of chance and involve future contingent events not under the control of players; and (3) the major daily fantasy sports companies lay out in detail what players will receive on the basis of certain outcomes.  Att. Gen. Op. 16-1.