Idaho is not a gambling friendly state. Most forms of gambling are prohibited by the Idaho gambling laws, even if played privately.
Idaho gambling laws
Gambling is illegal in Idaho and in the past few years there have been numerous articles published about police raids in illegal gambling establishments around the state. Gambling is defined in the Idaho Statutes under Crimes and Punishments. Gambling “means risking any money, credit, deposit or other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event.”
On top of gambling, the operation of gambling venues is also included in the definition. Does this mean that all of forms of gambling are outlawed by Idaho gambling laws? The answer is no, however, the opportunities are obviously limited. There are a few tribal casinos in Idaho, which unlike similar venues in other states, offer only Class 2 games. Class 2 games include bingo, raffles, and non-banked card games.
Raffles for charity purposes are also legal if conducted by nonprofit organizations. Furthermore, sports betting in Idaho is allowed but only at licensed racetracks. Illegal gambling is taken really seriously in Idaho. US gambling news have reported about many raids, even at the homes of social poker players. “We thought it was a joke when we heard a knock on the door and they said, ‘Boise Police,” recalls a poker player. When the group seen that the police came with their guns drawn, they all realized that “this isn’t a joke,” and neither are the strict Idaho gambling laws.
“Most of the time, we send our community policing team to a gambling complaint and they usually issue a warning,” explained a member of the Boise Area Narcotics Drug Interdiction Team (BANDIT). He also added that they’re not regularly going after illegal gambling operations. Usually the BANDIT addresses citizen complaints only.
Online Gambling in Idaho
Just like brick and mortar gambling, online gambling in Idaho is not legal. There’s no specific law prohibiting internet casinos in Idaho, but the existing Idaho gambling laws are said to cover them. Basically, all forms of gambling are outlawed in Idaho, and online gambling is no exception.
Lotteries in Idaho
The Idaho Lottery act was approved in 1988 and the lottery was implemented within 200 days. In its first year, the Idaho Lottery collected USD 65 million in sales. Its proceeds are shared between the Permanent Building Fund and the Public School Building Account. Players can’t purchase Idaho Lottery tickets online as there are “Federal laws that prohibit the sale of Lottery tickets through the Internet and by mail.”
Daily Fantasy Sports in Idaho
Currently, Daily Fantasy Sports in Idaho are not regulated and there’s no bill pending on the matter. According to gambling news, Idaho will examine the levels of skill and chance in daily fantasy sports to determine the games’ legality in the state. Since the industry is still unregulated most known daily fantasy sports sites accept Idaho based players.