Most people know Idaho as the Potato state, but there is a lot more going on up in those parts. Situated in the northwest part of the U.S., the state has had its own individual take on gambling over the years. This has many times come across as conservative compared to other regions of the country, but with the changing climate across the U.S. these days, we think there is an opportunity for Idaho to be more progressive. Let’s take a look at the current state of gambling laws in Idaho.
Sports Betting in Idaho
The hot topic across the U.S. these days is definitely sports betting. With the repeal of PASPA in May of 2018, each state has been given a chance to get into the regulated sports betting arena. Before this Supreme Court ruling, all states except Nevada were prohibited from offering sports betting to its residents, and this includes Idaho. The state does have conservative undertones, so we’d be shocked if they are quick out of the gate with regulations, but with the potential for significant tax revenues from sports betting in their sights, lawmakers may be swayed into action.
Online Sports Betting
While the state decides what it will do about regulated sports betting, anyone in Idaho that is looking to place a bet on sports can find many online sportsbooks willing to take their action. Unfortunately this means that Idohans who want to bet online are at the mercy of often unscrupulous operators offering illegal products from far flung places. If only for customer protection, it is to be hoped that the legislature of Idaho will pass into law regulations that allow online sports betting in the state.
Once they do, the Betting News team will reiew in detail all available online gambling options to propose a list of the best online sportsbooks in Idaho. To be on this list, these sportsbooks need to offer very competitive bonuses and promotions. Even more importantly, the sites must offer the most options for deposits and withdrawals, which means you won’t be worrying about how long it will take to get paid when you win. Online sportsbooks are open 24 hours a day, so these sites also offer customer service via many forms throughout the day and evening if you ever have any issues.
Horse Betting in Idaho
The state’s licensing of horse racing facilities gives a lot of insight into the nature of the legislators. While there are many locations that are allowed to apply to hold races, there is a very limited schedule that they must adhere to for race days. In fact, there are only about 30 or so official race days during any calendar year. This does seem a bit extreme, but we have to assume there is a reason the state has taken this position. The good news is that these facilities do have the ability to simulcast races from across the country, which means they can stay open and take bets even when there are no races at their property. This has allowed the operations to stay in business and we don’t see any reason this will change in the future.
Online Horse Betting
One area where the state has a strange stance is online horse betting. Although it is very restrictive when it comes to the number of live races being held in the state, nothing is stopping an Idaho resident from betting at one of the national pari-mutuel sites like Twinspires. These sites do not reside in Idaho, and one wonders if the state could protect local interests by blocking its residents from playing at these types of online horse betting operators.
Casino Gambling in Idaho
Like many states, the casino landscape in Idaho is dominated by tribal interests. The tribal fight to have gaming to help provide income to the reservations had been ongoing for decades before compacts were finally agreed upon by tribes and their individual state governments. This is the case in Idaho. However, the licensing in this state is far more conservative than in other areas of the country.
Although there is legal “casino” gaming, these all fall under the Class II types of properties. This originally was meant to designate operators who were allowed to offer bingo-style games. However, some very clever people in the world determined that you could build a slot engine that was powered not by an RNG, but by the results of a bingo “game.” These games, while a little more cumbersome, still have the look and feel of a slot machine and allow you to bet on different paylines. So, even though it isn’t the real thing, it is something that fits under tribal gaming Class II regulations. Many of the facilities in Idaho offer these types of games.
Online Casinos in Idaho
The conservative stance that the Idaho government has taken on casino games means that if you are looking to play table games or traditional slots in a local facility, you are out of luck. The good news is that with so much movement across the country relating to gambling and online gambling in particular, it is likely that Idaho will soon end up passing laws that allow playing casino games online.
Lottery in Idaho
While there is some ambiguity regarding casino games that are legal in Idaho, the same cannot be said for lottery games – they are definitely legal. In fact, the Idaho Lottery generates a significant amount of operating capital for many social programs in the state. No matter if you are looking for a quick fix from a scratch ticket at a local store, or you want to take a shot at becoming a multimillionaire in Powerball or Mega Millions, you have the opportunity to do so within the borders of Idaho.
Idaho Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Idaho?
Sports betting is not currently legal in Idaho. The state takes a very conservative approach to gambling in general, so it is not too surprising to see that they weren’t one of the first to jump on board when PASPA was repealed. Having said that, it is likely that once more state pass laws relating to sports betting in neighbouring states, Idaho will realize that they are passing up on a tremendous opportunity to protect players as well as raise revenues and will revise their laws accordingly..
When will sports betting be legal in Idaho?
It sure seems like a theme on this page is conservatism. Sticking with that trend. We don’t see Idaho being one of the states that are planning to legalize sports betting in 2019. There is no chatter about it in the press, and with the new legislative session starting in January 2019, lawmakers will have their hands full with other projects. For now, if you are looking to make a regulated sports bet in Idaho, you are likely going to be waiting until at least 2020.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of Idaho?
Our list of the best online sportsbooks in other state all have the same feature in common and these will be the same when it comes to the best sportsbook for Idaho residents. Some of these will not only offer online sports betting but the casino, poker, and other games as well. All will offer great customer service 24/7 as well as competitive bonus and loyalty offers to their players. The odds and number of betting lines will be crucial factors in determining the best online sportsbooks for Idaho residents.