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Tribal Casinos in Idaho Can’t Allow Texas Hold’em Anymore

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A federal judge has forbidden the Coeur d’Alene tribe from hosting games of Texas Hold’em at its casino in Worely, Idaho.

Even though American gambling laws allow tribes to operate casinos on their land, US District Judge Lynn Winmill said allowing customers to play poker at the gambling venue in Worely is against state regulations.

The tribe argued that poker is a “bona fide contest of skill”, which is why it should be exempt from the tribe’s agreements with the state of Idaho under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. But according to Winmill’s ruling, poker contains a few elements of chance, which makes the game illegal in the state.

Idaho against poker

The judge ordered that the American poker room be shut down, adding: “When a poker player is dealt a hand, chance determines how good or bad that hand will be. There is no skill involved in that part of the game – ever.”

Gov. Butch Otter said in a statement: “The legislature and the people of Idaho have made it clear what kind of gambling they will accept. That does not include poker. And no matter how much the Tribe insists otherwise, Texas Hold’em is poker.”

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