When it comes to gambling in Idaho, the state walks a fine line, it is neither the most restrictive or permissive state in the country. While online gambling is illegal in the Gem State, there are still several legal gambling options. The state is not against legalising new gambling activities but there doesn’t appear to be a sense of urgency to make changes anytime soon. So, what about sports betting in Idaho? Let’s find out. We’ve put together a comprehensive guide to sports betting in the state of Idaho.
Is it legal to bet on sports in Idaho?
At the time of writing, sports betting has yet to be legalised in the state of Idaho. The state’s current gambling laws prohibit gambling companies from offering sports wagering, while at the same time restricting residents and visitors from betting on sports. Just like sports wagering, daily fantasy sports contests are also prohibited in the Gem State. In 2016, Idaho’s Attorney General issued a statement detailing how daily fantasy sports contests were illegal in the state.
Although lawmakers have alluded to expanding the state’s gambling options in the past, Idaho is unlikely to make any changes to its sports wagering laws any time soon. Since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, Idaho has not made one serious attempt to authorise sports wagering. On top of this, the state’s stance on daily fantasy sports contests goes to show just how far away the state is from legalising real-money sports wagering.
However, the state does permit pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing events at authorised racetracks and off-track betting venues. Most major horse racing sites accept customers from Idaho. Mobile horse race betting apps are also available in Idaho, allowing residents to place bets on local races that take place at tracks in the state. Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is overseen by the Idaho Racing Commission.
Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in Idaho?
It is not yet clear where sports wagering could take place in the state of Idaho. If a piece of legislation is introduced and successful, sports betting could take place at select land-based venues and even via online and mobile platforms.
What sports will I be able to bet on Idaho?
It is not yet clear which sports residents in Idaho will be able to bet on if the state does legalize sports betting. However, if state lawmakers follow the examples set by other states, it’s likely that it will be legal to bet on professional and collegiate games in Idaho, including NBA, NFL and MLB events.
What else can I bet on in Idaho
Although the state’s gambling laws are fairly restrictive there are still a handful of fun and legal gambling options available in the Gem State. Residents and visitors in the state of Idaho can try their luck with the state lottery, bingo games and betting on horseracing events. As mentioned above, residents can legally bet on horseracing either online, at off-track betting venues or at various racetracks located throughout the state. Residents in the Gem State can also legally bet on dog racing events. Charitable gambling is also permitted, provided the host gains approvable from the state.
While there are no commercial casinos in the state, a handful of tribal casinos are permitted to offer several gambling activities in the state. However, unlike many other states, Idaho’s tribal casinos can only offer Class II gambling activities which include bingo, charity drawings and pull-tab games. Casino games such as poker, blackjack and slot machines are classed as Class III activities and are illegal in the state of Idaho.
Are offshore gambling sites legal in Idaho?
No. Idaho considers all betting sites that operate without authorization from the state as illegal enterprises. Not only are offshore gambling sites illegal, we’d also recommend steering clear because there is no regulation to protect players. This means sites may not be secure or may not have measures in place to protect vulnerable players. There is also no way of knowing who is accountable for handling the money you deposit into these online accounts.
You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name. Domains ending .EU or .AG do not hold a license to operate in Idaho and should, therefore, be avoided at all costs.
Will it be safe to bet on sports in Idaho?
Idaho already has strict gambling laws, which suggests that state regulators are likely to implement a tight regulatory framework for sports betting, should it become legalized. This regulation will ensure that sports betting in Idaho is safe and fair, whether punters are betting in person or online. Of course, it’s also up to bettors to take care and gamble responsibly.
Contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:
Who regulates gambling in Idaho?
In the state of Idaho, horseracing betting is overseen by the Idaho Racing Commission, while the state legislature oversees the arrangements with the tribes that offer gambling activities.
How old do I have to be to gamble in Idaho?
The legal age to partake in Idaho’s legal gambling options is 18.
The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Idaho
1890 – Idaho enacted the state constitution which outlawed all forms of lottery-based gambling.
1930 – Slot machines became incredibly popular as they weren’t explicitly banned by state law
1947 – Lawmakers approve statute making slot machines exempt from the lottery ban, making these machines legal.
1953 – The Idaho Supreme Court deemed slot machines to be unconstitutional and made them illegal.
1957 – The Idaho legislature approved the first Horse Racing Act, but this was then vetoed by the Governor.
1963 – A second Horse Racing Act was passed and signed into law, creating the Idaho State Racing Commission.
1988 – The state legislature passed the Lottery Creation Act which created a public referendum where residents voted to approve a new lottery program.
The same year, the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) was established by congress and used as the federal regulatory framework that would go on to govern gambling at native American establishments throughout the US. This act broke down different gambling activities in to different classes, Class I, Class II and Class III.
1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.
The same year, three federally recognised tribes, the Coeur d’Alene, the Kootenai, and the Nez Perce, petitioned Idaho to negotiate the state’s first tribal gambling compacts. The tribes wanted the right to offer Class III gambling activities which includes slot machines, blackjack and roulette instead of the Class I and II activities. However, a constitutional amendment to outlaw Class III games was passed, limiting the state’s legal gambling industry to lottery, pari-mutuel horseracing betting and charitable bingo and raffle games. This also limited the activities that tribal casinos could offer.
2002 – Initiative 1, the state-tribal gambling compact was put to voters where it was approved by 57.8%. Idaho’s tribal casinos were also offered the right to offer video gaming machines as long as they lacked coins, pull levers and other features found on slot machines.
2011 – Horseracing laws are approved which allow for bets to be placed at locations other than racetracks.
2013 – The state legislature approved Bill No. 220 which allowed for wagers to be placed on historical horse races using machines.
2014 – After the Coeur d’Alene tribe built a six-table poker room the state sued them. A state court rules that the Coeur d’Alene tribe cannot legally construct a poker room within their casino facilities. This effectively banned tribes from offering poker games in Idaho.
2015 – The state legislature repealed the horseracing machine law that was passed in 2013. The lawmakers claimed they were “duped” by the slot machine style of the horseracing machines.
2016 – The state’s attorney general announced an agreement with DraftKings and FanDuel which prohibited state residents from accessing real-money fantasy sports contests.
2017 – A state representative proposed a bill to allow tribes to offer video gaming machines but this was shot down by other lawmakers.
2018 – In a 7 – 2 vote it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as it commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks begin to launch across the country.
While Idaho sports betting is not yet legal, state lawmakers are still in discussions about legalizing the activity. Make sure to check back with Compare.bet US for the latest updates on legal sports betting in Idaho.