Idaho – the Gem State – has plenty of gaming action with the minimum legal age being 18 for all forms of gambling. Online casino gaming is offered by offshore based online casinos.
- Online offshore operators continue to accept players from Idaho
- There are, no state regulated online onshore operators.
- State government holds an exclusive license to operate lottery products. Tribal-State compacts are in place to permit operation of Class II and Class III gaming. Only State recognized tribes can participate in the State compacts.
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Online casino activity is currently available and offered through various sites that are based offshore. These sites are safe and secure to play at, with no risk posed to Idaho players, both regarding legality or to player data protection.
The best online casinos all use the latest SSL internet technology, and feature secure payment methods that are common, trusted and processed by reputable financial institutions. These include: VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Bitcoin (BTC), direct wire transfers and many other methods.
Bonuses are extremely important in selecting an online casino. We have therefore displayed some of the best casino bonuses that can be found whilst balancing other important criteria such as safety and security as previously mentioned. However, for ease of reference, we have listed them according to the size of bonus.
Without doubt, at the time of writing, El Royale Casino offers the best casino bonus deal. It is also one of the safest. Coupled with excellent customer service, El Royale is our top recommended online casino for Idaho players.
Live Idaho Casinos and Dealers
Interactive Live Casinos with Live Dealer gaming is a relatively new technological feature that online casinos now offer. It’s popularity is increasing at a phenomenal rate, with demand so strong that at one stage there is a shortage of professional quality live dealers!
As a player, you will find that playing with Live Dealers is extremely rewarding. Not only can you be assured that the odds are real and not influenced in any way by RNG algorithms (or erroneous software coding), but you get to interact with the Dealer as if you were at a Vegas land based casinos. Playing with a Live Dealer at an online casino, is via HD video streaming with state of the art graphics and instant chat messaging facilities.
In fact, many players find that playing at online casinos with a Live dealer is even better than playing at a Vegas casino. The benefit of casinos bonuses still apply and are directly credited to your bank roll (beats getting discounted meal vouchers and free beverages), and you get to use advanced features such as unlimited back behind betting, multi variations of side bets and double downs (for blackjack players).
If you want to read more about Online Live Casinos, follow this link.
Sports Betting Sites
Online sports betting sites, however, do exist and they are based offshore. They accept Idaho bettors, with no precedence of any bettor being informed of a breach in law, let alone charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports is growing fast in popularity. New to the gambling scene, it is considered a game of skill by many which requires bettors to create a fictitious team based on real players. The performance of the real sports players in real life determine how successful the fictitious team is. As a result, it truly is those with the most “skills” will win.
The two most popular daily fantasy sports providers is DraftKings and FanDuel. On this site, we do not actively promote daily fantasy sports as we understand that it is a game of “skill” which is being exploited by bettors who have the best risk modelling. That is, it isn’t nearly about how well you know your sport, the sport players etc, it is very much about who has the best statistical model and who has access to the most detailed sports player data.
As someone who may be a big fan of sport, and thinking that they would have a good chance of winning money in DFS, think again. You are pitted against statistical modelling experts who deliberately target games that mostly have new players to DFS. In fact, it has been alleged that those who are extremely good at DFS have been known to collaborate among themselves and not compete with each other. Thereby creating a sustainable winning formula shared by the top players.
We therefore want our readers to be aware that DFS is not what is appears to be. In fairness, DFS is legal in Idaho and many DFS onshore operators accept Idaho players.
Idaho Online Bingo
Idaho bingo laws are stipulated under Charitable gaming state legislation. These laws provide for the licensing of non profit organizations to operate bingo games. At present, these laws do not address nor permit online bingo by onshore operators. Accordingly, online bingo sites that do accept Idaho players are based offshore (which is the same as online casinos and sports betting sites).
The recommended online bingo sites all accept players from Idaho. They offer advanced features that include instant messaging, fun bingo games and protocols that ensures bingo participants play together in a civil enjoyable manner. Due to the social aspect of bingo, there is a cultural aspect to bingo which cannot be found with casino or sports betting. As an example, A LOT of acronyms form part of instant chat messaging. If you are not familiar with online bingo lingo, do not be afraid, learning it is one of the most fun parts!
- Idaho Constitution prohibits any form of commercial casino gambling including, but not limited to, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, baccarat, keno and slot machines
- Tribal casinos are permitted on Indian reservation land as determined by tribe-state compacts
- Pari-mutuel wagering on horse and dog racing is permitted, as is virtual horse race wagering
- Instant Racing Terminal were legal in the state between 2013 and 2015
- Licensed charitable and/or non-profit organizations may conduct bingo and/or raffles
- Onshore online operators are prohibited
- Offshore online casinos are not specifically addressed in the law
Legal Minimum Age for Gambling
The minimum gambling age is 18.
Surplus from the lottery are distributed to fund education and construction in Idaho
For charitable organizations, bingo expenses cannot exceed 18% of gross revenue and a minimum of 20% of the gross revenue must be used for charitable purposes. Not less than 80% of net raffle proceeds must be used for charitable or non-profit purposes.
Regulation and Governance
Idaho Constitution and Statutes
Idaho Gambling Market Developments
- State lottery is the main form of gambling in Idaho, then limited casinos and pari-mutuel horse and dog race wagering
- GTECH held the contract to provide the lottery with equipment and services from 1989 until 2006
- The operation of virtual horse race wagering became authorised and fully regulated in 2013, upon the passing of HB20. Operators are taxed at 1.5% of gross daily receipts.
The Ninth Circuit US Court of Appeals, ruled against the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, prohibiting its casino in Idaho, from operating, Texas Hold ‘Em poker. The court stated that although skill is prevalent in Texas Hold ‘Em, the game does not qualify for the statutory exemption, under the constitution’s prohibition on poker and determined that, any other conclusion would create a general exception for contests of skill, which would not be justifiable.
Though Coeur d’Alene could legally offer poker products under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, the Tribes current state-compact does not extend to the operation of any poker products.
The state lottery issued two separate requests for proposals as it examines new opportunities to improve its services. Prospective partners are invited to submit proposals by 8 October 2015 under the categories of “creative services” and/or “strategic planning.”
The state affairs committee introduced a bill, which seeks to create the Idaho Gaming Agency and Gaming Commission, to take over governance of the states gaming activities from the 3 independent bodies currently charged with the task. HB517 sets out the roles and responsibilities which the agency and its director will adopt including oversight of Indian gaming, lottery gaming devices and pari-mutuel gaming devices.
Attorney General Lawrence Wasden, announced leading daily fantasy sports operators, DraftKings and Fanduel, agreed to cease offering paid contests in the state. The Attorney General began investigating the legality of DFS in January 2016 and reached the conclusion, that it constitutes gambling under state law. After three months of negotiations, the operators agreed to exit the market, provided, they could re-enter if the Idaho Legislature passes a bill to permit the activity in the future.
The state lottery awarded Intralot a ten (10) year contract to provide its central lottery gaming system following a competitive procurement process.
Pollard Banknote secured a two (2) year contract extension to supply instant games to the state lottery, whilst IGT were awarded the same length of contract to continue supplying instant ticket printing services.
HB127 was introduced to the House of Representatives to prohibit Indian tribes from possessing or using any form of gaming machine. The bill seeks to repeal the tribes’ authorisation to operate gaming machines in their casinos granted to them by section 67- 429B of the Idaho Code.
The State Affairs Committee voted against HB127 which proposed a ban on tribes operating gaming machines in the state. Committee members voted eight to seven in favour of dropping the bill from the 2017 legislative session.
The Committee to Save Idaho Horse racing, proposed legislation through a public petition, to qualify for the November 2018 ballot, to reintroduce instant racing terminals at certain locations where live simulcast horse race betting occurs.
It was confirmed that a proposal to legalize instant racing terminals at live simulcast facilities would be included on the November 2018 ballot.
Voters in the November ballot voted against Ballet Measure 1 and rejected the authorization of betting on historical horse races. The measure was designed to legalize historical horse racing through instant racing terminals.