Gambling Information and Online Casino Listings
Recommended gambling sites for Idaho residents are the same ones for the majority of the American nation. Since Idaho does not have a regulated online gambling market, the only sites that operate in the Gem State are offshore-based gambling hubs such as Bovada, Slots.LV Casino, Ignition, Uptown Aces and Miami Club, among others.
These websites are open for US players residing in Idaho and anywhere else in the country, minus the few progressively-minded states such as Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware which have already licensed their local internet gambling industries.
Top Online Casinos for Idaho Residents
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.
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.
Bovada Casino, Ignition and Slots.LV are sister sites which rank as top US gaming sites with real money to be won. Both Bovada and Slots.LV have over 150 games on offer, including some celebrated slots like Caesar’s Empire, Cleopatra’s Gold, Birds of Fury and Shopping Spree. Bovada may be a bit more conservative when it comes to looks, but Slots.LV adds a bit more kitsch to its interface. Miami Club Casino does not receive as nearly as much fanfare as Bovada and its sister sites, but offers just as many conveniences for US gamblers. Miami Club features a VIP Club and a variety of 3-reel, 5-reel and 7-reel slot games.
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.
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