Idaho Gambling Information

FAQ / Q&A -- History -- Regulation -- Land Based Casinos -- Fun Facts


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Regulation and legality of online gambling

No, online gambling isn’t officially legal in Idaho. At the same time, it’s not illegal either. While the wording may be strange at first glance, this situation makes perfect sense after a bit of elaboration.

Even though Idaho is a relatively liberal state, gambling-wise, there is no legislation that mentions the activity of gambling online. This is mostly because major technological advancements take years to be mentioned in House or Senate bills. Keep in mind that state representatives and senators are people, too, so following every advancement in every field is impossible.

What all this means is that you are free to play casino games at offshore or out-of-state sites. As there are now laws that explicitly define, let alone prohibit, online gambling, you can rest assured that you won’t be bothered.

It’s safe to say that Idaho will probably see fully legal casino sites sometime soon, as there have been no arrests related to playing games of chance online. Funnily enough, poker is still illegal state-wide, despite land-based venues offering just about everything else. It’s unsure whether Gov. Brad Little will trigger some changes in the online gambling department.

Idaho’s gambling industry lies on laws which were written well before the concept of online casinos. That being the case, it doesn’t come as a surprise that the language is inappropriate as it simply doesn’t refer to the internet as we know it today. The books mention ‘electronic or electromechanical imitation or simulation’, and that is the only sentence that could be interpreted as something to do with gambling over the internet. Overall, the state legislators haven’t banned online gambling explicitly. The main statues are wide in their coverage of different gambling activities and need and update that would address the internet, as well as smartphone and tablet gambling.Gambling in Idaho:




While gambling being largely outlawed in today’s Idaho, the situation in this western state was much different in the early days. Individual towns and cities could regulate casinos in the days of the Gold Rush, which meant that many venturers gambled their profits in such casino parlors and gambling clubs. The territory was known to be friendly to card sharps and players who were traveling along the frontier. The outskirts of Boise were meant to be a heaven for gamblers, but after the end of WWII these projects came crumbling down. Idaho had a brief relationship with legal one-armed bandits from 1947 to 1953. The 1953 legislation banned more or less every type of gambling game in the state.

These strict laws slowly loosened in the following decades. The lottery was approved in 1988 after years of fighting citizen's initiatives to create one. This was a good start and a good introduction into tribal gaming which was allowed on a federal level the same year. Before that, Idaho tribes could only operate their own bingo and pull tabs. Three federally recognized tribes (the Coeur d’Alene, the Kootenai, and the Nez Perce) sought to negotiate the state’s first tribal gaming compacts under IGRA. In the following years, the tribes battled the state government for the approval to offer Class III games (blackjack, roulette and slots). They were eventually allowed to offer video gaming machines in 2002. However, these machines were not allowed to require coins or use pull levers.

The Idaho horse racing industry has been operating since the early 1960s, under the Idaho State Racing Commission’s supervision. At this point, Idaho residents can participate in tribal gaming, horse racing, dog racing, bingo and lottery.


Land based casinos

Idaho may have the potential to become a thriving casino gambling market, but the state keeps banning Class III casino games in existing tribal casinos. If we disregard the ponies that are still in action at eight racetrack facilities, there are several tribal land-based casinos in the Gem State. Idaho lacks commercial casinos, so tribal gaming is the primate. Idaho Constitution Article III § 20(1)(3) limits legal gambling options for the tribes, allowing strictly state lottery, pari-mutuel racing, and bingo/raffle games for charity. Class III games are explicitly banned, by name. Despite the lack of these gaming formats, tribal gambling establishments are quite popular. Prominent locations include Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort, Fort Hall Casino and Sage Hill Casino.

Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort is located in Worley, Northern Idaho. It is open 24 hours, 365 days a year and offers 100,000 square feet of gaming space, complete with boutiques, a spa, an 18-hole golf course, 1,400 gaming machines, video blackjack, bingo and off-track betting. It is the largest in the state. Fort Hall Casino is the second largest, located 50 miles south of Idaho Falls. Fort Hall Casino offers more than 900 video gaming machines (not technically slots), a bingo hall, four restaurants and a 156-room hotel. Sage Hall occupies 13,200 square feet and offers only video gaming machines (games similar to slots and video poker). Casino hours are 6:30 am - 2 am/5 am (Fri/Sat).

There are no places in Idaho where people can sit at a gambling table and try their luck on the roulette wheel or at their favorite card games.

Neighbouring States: Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming



What’s the minimum age for playing at Idaho online casinos?

18. The minimum age for all kinds of gaming activities is 18, expect for venues where alcohol is served. Then, all patrons have to be at least 21 years-old, with sufficient proof of identity to back up their claims.

As there is no legislation pertaining to online gambling, you should definitely consider going with the limit for other forms of gaming. Just because there are no laws in place, that doesn’t mean underage gambling should be condoned.

Be prepared for some sites to ask for additional proof of identities, such as a scan of your government-issued ID or a phone bill.

Are some games unavailable at casino sites in Idaho?

No! And that’s exactly the biggest advantage of online gambling in Idaho. Because it’s currently a legal grey area when it comes to playing at offshore casinos, you can gain access to just about anything you want.

States that do regulate online gambling through active legislation can get you in trouble for having fun at out-of-state casinos. In Idaho, you can enjoy all the fruits of global gambling. While some sites might be restricted, most relish the opportunity and are happy to welcome Idahoans into their ranks.

You can choose from all the best slots, table games. What’s best about having such a wide choice is that you can often try new games before they’re officially released. These often include new and exciting variants, so you can get a constant stream of quality entertainment.

Can I play live dealer games at Idahoan gaming sites?

Yes, you can play live dealer games if you’re in Idaho. They’re an integral part of many casino sites that accept players from this state.

In most cases, you’ll find a plethora of popular table games and their more modern variants, but select sites offer experimental titles or game show adaptation. Do some research and you’ll find what you want.

What payment options can I use at online casinos in Idaho?

Just like in other parts of the US, casinos in Idaho look to accommodate their customers by using the most popular payment options. This, of course, involves all kinds of cards and bank transfers. Since it’s the most familiar means of transferring money, online casinos use it as a means of attracting new customers.

eWallets are just as popular, if not more, because of the options for online shopping and performing all kinds of actions without leaving the comfort of your own home. PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill are at the forefront of this rapid digitalization.

You also have cryptocurrencies, special ‘coins’ that are encrypted and impervious to any king of compromisation. Paysafecard and PayNearMe are also popular due to their numerous physical locations.

Do I have to wait long for payments at Idahoan casino sites?

Even though it may seem that the payment option is the only thing that matters, it’s not. The length of time you have to wait for a withdrawal mainly depends on the site itself, which is contrary to popular belief.

In fact, many online casinos have undisclosed verification processes and protocols, which often lengthens the usual time you need to wait. If you also have to send documents, things can get even more annoying.

Nevertheless, the average waiting times for some of the most popular payment options in Idaho are:

• Bank transfer - 2-3 business days

• Credit/debit card - 2-3 business days

• Bitcoin - 30 minutes

• PayPal - instant/24 hours (maximum)

• Skrill - 36 hours

• Neteller - 24 hours

Can I play vintage slots over the internet in Idaho?

Of course, many prominent online casinos offer classic slots. Keep in mind that many sites have replaced them with modernized versions, so you might be in for a longer quest to find them.

Is my information safe with Idahoan online casinos?

It depends on what kind of site are you trusting with your personal information. Before doing anything other than looking around, check to see if the site is licensed by a legitimate regulatory body. Said body should probably have written evidence of the site’s license, too.

SSL encryption and firewall protection are mandatory these days, so you should avoid sites that don’t use these measures. A COMODO internet security certificate is a big plus, as well.

Can I get charged with a crime for online gambling in Idaho?

No. There is no law that explicitly states that gambling over the internet is prohibited. It’s not even mentioned, hence you can’t get in trouble for doing so.

However, keep in mind that some casinos might not want to risk Idahoan politicians taking action against them, so they restrict the state completely. They can get in trouble, while you can’t, so it’s a legitimate concern for them, too.

Can I find bonuses over $100 at casino sites in Idaho?

You can, mainly at high-roller online casinos. These sites mainly accommodate players who are willing to shell out a lot of cash on both their deposits and their bets. Read the terms and conditions of the bonus carefully and you’ll be fine.

Fun Facts about Idaho

  • Idaho is home to the deepest canyon in the United States. Hell’s Canyon of the Snake River is more than 8,000 feet deep, Apart from having an interesting name, Hell’s Canyon is deeper than the Grand Canyon.
  • Idaho is known for its potatoes, gems and ghost towns. It produces about one-third of the potatoes grown in the United States. The word ‘potato’ is written on license plates in Idaho, and Boise Idahoans celebrate New Year with a Potato Drop. Idaho’s nickname is Gem State because over 72 different precious and semi-precious gemstones have been found there. One of them is Star Garnets, a diamond only found in India, besides Idaho. Horror lovers appreciate Idaho ghost towns like Silver City, Chesterfield, Wallace and Custer. These were once mining towns.

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