Idaho Gambling

Author Image Reviewed By Daniel Smyth
Fact Check Icon Fact Checked byMichael KatesGDC - Icon - Black - Info
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Back in the days of the Old West, Idaho was considered something of a hotbed of gambling. Gold rush speculators, arriving here in droves to seek their fortune, fell over themselves to gamble at the locally regulated casinos, which popped up like wildfires across the state. How times have changed.

These days, the Gem State offers very little in the way of legalized gambling opportunities. Sure, there’s the immensely popular state lottery and some (heavily regulated) bingo fun to be had but, aside from that, offerings are limited largely to pari-mutuel sports betting Idaho and some modest electronic casino games provided by tribal casinos.

Though there is no specific legislation banning online gambling in Idaho, the state’s definition of gambling is broad enough to effectively cover internet gambling within its all-encompassing terms. In short, it's not allowed.

That doesn't seem like it will change anytime soon. Voters rejected a proposed historic horse racing measure in 2018, cutting off another potential gambling opportunity. Future efforts are unlikely.

Social Casino Disclaimer: Due to regulations in the state, we are unable to show operators that only operate as social casinos. However, as online sports betting is legal in this state, we can list any operators that have both a social casino and a sportsbook.

Top Idaho Online Gambling Sites

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Online Casino Gambling in Idaho

Social Casino Offers Only Available

As gambling legislation goes, Idaho’s prohibition stands at the broader end of the spectrum. As well as prohibiting games of chance that include elements of skill, it specifically mentions poker, a game that tends to generate the greatest discussion in the skill-versus-luck debate.

Here’s the definition, according to Chapter 38, 18-3801:

“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, the operation of casino gambling including, but not limited to, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, baccarat or keno…”

While this statement makes no direct reference to online gambling, it’s easy to see how its broad working could be applied to internet-based play. There are no certified legal online betting options for now in Idaho and little momentum to change that in the foreseeable future.

Social casinos are available and legal in Idaho, though, both on the internet or as an app, and feature all the popular online casino usa games, including slots, blackjack, video poker and roulette. It is free to play. While you cannot win money playing games at social casinos, the sites like WinStar, LuckyLand and Chumba casino typically offer sweepstakes (games of chance) with prizes that can include real money jackpots.

Idaho Poker Online

Not Legal

Because it is mentioned specifically in the state’s anti-gambling legislation, it is illegal to play poker in Idaho. Even social poker games are prohibited. The authorities used to be very proactive about enforcing this legislation, famously busting a group of retirees who dared to play a casual small-stakes game back in 2011. The fallout from that incident, spearheaded by a large public outcry, led to a modest relaxation in the government’s approach. It is now widely believed that small home-games are unlikely to receive a similar response, even though they are still technically illegal. That being said, online players on illegal offshore sites shouldn't try their luck.

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Updated by

Daniel Smyth

Fact Checked by GDC - Icon - Black - Info

Michael Kates

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