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Idaho Casinos & Gambling

Idaho Regulated Gambling:

Pari-Mutuels 1963

Charity Games 1992

Lotteries 1988

Tribal Casinos 2002

Gambling Age in Idaho:

Lotteries/Pari-Mutuel Betting/Charity Gaming 18+

Tribal Casinos 21+

Idaho Land-Based Facilities:

Tribal Casinos 7

Idaho

Idaho Gambling Overview

When Idaho’s Constitution was approved by Congress in 1890, the prohibition of lotteries and gift enterprises was explicitly mentioned. Today, all gambling outside of pari-mutuel, lotteries, and charity gaming remain prohibited. The state does have 7 tribal casinos that offer video slots and bingo on Indian reservations. It is permitted in Idaho only because the state has limited powers to prevent it.

Among the prohibited forms of gambling are online casinos, sports betting, fantasy sports, and daily fantasy sports. There is currently no proposed legislation to change this, which is in contrast to many other states pushing for changes. Until May 2016, when daily fantasy and fantasy sports were ruled illegal, players from Idaho would participate in the activity. It resulted in big operators like DraftKings and FanDuel leaving the state.

Lotteries

Idaho has a state lottery that works with roughly 1,050 retailers throughout the state. Their products include scratch games, pull tabs, draw games, and multistate draw games. The Idaho Lottery was the first in the United States to launch a player’s club that offers rewards and incentives for buying lottery products. Although a lottery app exists for Android and iOS, players cannot purchase tickets online.

Charity Games

In Idaho, non-profit charitable gambling includes raffles, bingo, and other games of chance. Charitable gaming falls under the agency of the Idaho State Lottery Enforcement Division. Organizations must have been in existence in the United States for at least one year. A single bingo prize must not exceed $3,000 of cash or merchandise. Furthermore, not more than $25,000 of money or merchandise must be awarded in an eight-hour time frame. On the other hand, a single raffle prize cannot exceed $1,000 in cash.

Charities with annual revenue of $10,000 or more must apply for a license. Raffles require a license if the combined value of prizes exceeds $5,000.

Horse Racing and Pari-Mutuel

Pari-mutuel betting is legal in Idaho, provided it is approved by the commission. This includes live racing, OTB, simulcast and/or televised races. While pari-mutuel horse racing is permitted, dog racing has since been prohibited. Idaho bettors can make OTB online from sites like TwinSpires and TVG. Idaho OTB is the only authorized form of online gambling allowed.

Land-Based Casinos in Idaho

Tribal casinos are the only legal form of land-based casinos (Class II) in Idaho. These offer hundreds of slot machines and bingo. However, table games like blackjack, roulette, poker, keno, and baccarat are not permitted. The ownership of these casinos is split between the Kootenai Tribe(1), Nez Perce Tribe(2), Coeur d’Alene Tribe(1), and the Shoshone-Bannock Tribe(3).

Tribal Casinos Address Website
Bannock Peak Casino I-86 (Exit 52) – Arbon Valley, ID 83204 shobangaming.com/casinos/sage-hill-bannock-peak
Best Western Kootenai River Inn, Casino and Spa 7169 Plaza St. – Bonners Ferry, ID 83805 kootenairiverinn.com/casino
Clearwater River Casino 17500 Nez Perce Rd. -Lewiston, ID 83501 crcasino.com/casino
Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort Hotel 37914 S. Nukwalqw – Worley, ID 83876 cdacasino.com/gaming
Fort Hall Casino I-15 (Exit 80) – Fort Hall, ID 83203 shobangaming.com
It’se Ye-Ye Bingo & Casino 419 3rd St. – Kamiah, ID 83536 crcasino.com/itse-ye-ye-casino
Sage Hill Travel Center & Casino I-5 (Exit 89) – Blackfoot, ID 83221 shobangaming.com/casinos/sage-hill-bannock-peak

Idaho Gambling History

Between 1947 and 1953, slot machines could be found outside Idaho Falls, Garden City, and Pocatello. However, by 1953 the Idaho Legislature declared these unconstitutional. Owners were compelled to destroy them or ship them to Nevada.

In 1963 pari-mutuel horse racing was enacted, which would be regulated by the Idaho State Racing Commission. Greyhound racing was later authorized in 1987. Simulcasting followed in 1990 and then deposit wagering in 2003. In 1996, greyhound racing was banned in Idaho, following a trend seen in other states.

In 1983, a state lottery was proposed and defeated by a legislative committee. In 1988, an Idaho citizen’s initiative approved creating a lottery. Lawmakers later rejected it for not having the required legislative approval. They would later approve lottery measures to the ballot, which would squeak by with a 51% approval in the general election. The first ticket was sold the following year.

In 2002, Idaho authorized tribal casino Class II gaming after the signing of a Compact.

In 2013 Idaho legislators voted to legalize historical racing machines, which was repealed in 2015 despite Gov. Butch Otter’s attempt to veto the repeal. Legislators argued that they were deceived and that the devices were little more than slot machines. Historical racing involves making bets using terminals on randomly chosen horse races with no information on the past results or horses.

In May 2016, Idahoans could no longer participate in online fantasy sports because cash prizes violate state gambling laws. This led two big operators (DraftKings and FanDuel) to withdraw from the state.

Idaho defeated a historical racing measure in November 2018. It would have authorized racing machine terminals that allow players to bet on horse racing replays that have already happened.

Idaho Gambling FAQ

What types of gambling are legal in Idaho?

Players in Idaho can legally participate in charity games (raffles and bingo), pari-mutuel racing, lotteries, and gambling at one of 7 tribal casinos.

Are lotteries legal in Idaho?

Yes, Idaho permits state and multistate lotteries, including draws, pull tabs, scratch cards, raffles, and sweepstakes. Idahoans can also purchase multistate tickets such as Mega Millions and Powerball.

Are lottery winnings subject to tax in Idaho?

The Idaho Lottery deducts State and Federal income taxes on winnings over $5,000. The Federal tax rate is 24%, and the Idaho tax rate is 6.925%.

Is sports betting legal in Idaho?

No, Idaho prohibits sports betting as well as fantasy sports and daily fantasy sports.

Does Idaho have commercial casinos or tribal casinos?

Idaho has seven tribal casinos online, run on Indian reservations that offer bingo and video slots. Table games are not permitted. There are no Idaho commercial casinos allowed in the state.

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