Surprisingly, Idaho has a decent amount of legal gambling entertainment available. The state allows tribal casinos, a state lottery, charitable gaming and pari-mutuel wagering. Like every other state that has not enacted sports betting laws since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was repealed, Idaho does not offer any type of state-based sportsbook gambling opportunities.
There are some complexities involved in understanding US sports betting laws and how they apply to each individual state. Couple that with state gambling laws and the landscape gets even more intricate. Understanding how to navigate the legal maze that governs betting in Idaho is the key to ensuring you only participate in legally sanctioned gambling entertainment that does not violate any type of state or federal gambling laws.
We have created this guide in order to use our knowledge and expertise to provide clear and concise information for individuals seeking legal sports betting entertainment in Idaho. We are not attorneys and are not attempting to provide any type of professional legal services. What we do offer is our educated and informed opinion regarding the legalities concerning betting on sports in Idaho as well as our experience in how to access the top legal online sportsbooks offering betting services to Idaho residents and visitors. Relying on the input of industry professionals ensures you land at a legally licensed and regulated destination that offers a safe and high-quality betting environment.
Top Rated Sportsbook
For Idaho Residents
Betonline is one of the most popular online sports betting destinations for US players. They accept players from all 50 states including Idaho and have an excellent reputation in the online gambling industry. They are a premiere destination for betting on Super Bowl LIII. They always pay out winners on time and are just an overall great site to place your wagers with. If honesty and integrity are important characteristics you look for in an online sportsbook, then Betonline is an excellent choice.
Is Online Sports Betting legal In Idaho?
We would have to open our response to this question with a yes and a no. Online sports betting is legal and it is illegal, depending on where you are intending to place your bets. In this situation, location is everything and could mean the difference between gambling legally or illegally. Lets start with the ‘NO’ side of the coin. It is not legal to own or operate an online sportsbook within Idaho’s state borders. The reason that this type of betting is illegal is due to the enforcement of the Federal Wire Act. The relevant application of this law was clarified by the United States Department of Justice in 2011 when they issued a formal opinion that clearly states that accepting wagers through a US based online sports betting operation is illegal.
The Federal Wire Act does make it illegal to operate an online sportsbook anywhere in the United States. What this law does not accomplish is preventing the ‘placing of bets’ at online sportsbooks that are licensed and regulated offshore. In fact, the law does not attempt to prohibit illegal sportsbook gambling from a bettor standpoint, but rather focuses on curtailing illegal betting operations by preventing them from offering their services to gamblers. The Federal Wire Act does not make it illegal for Idaho residents to participate in online sports betting at licensed offshore sportsbooks that are located outside of the United States.
This leads us to the ‘Yes’ side of the coin. Since there are no provisions within Idaho state gambling laws or US federal sports betting laws that prohibit residents from betting on sports online through legally sanctioned offshore sportsbooks, we’d have to say that yes, online sports betting at offshore sportsbooks is a legal form of betting entertainment for individuals in Idaho. We do offer a word of caution regarding which sportsbooks you consider betting at. We recommend that you remain highly selective in your choices, restricting your betting action to only those destinations that are legitimately licensed and regulated through a respected governing jurisdiction. Our listing of recommended online sportsbooks includes only those bookmakers that hold the appropriate credentials and that are operating legally within the industry.
How Federal Regulations Play A Role
For as independent as Idaho is in many respects, they still have to comply with federal regulations. For the past fifty years or so, the federal government has decided that states alone cannot be trusted with gambling legislation, and this has caused the federal government to introduce a series of acts against gambling. It's really hard to figure out why the American government would be cracking down so hard on gambling. Gambling isn't hurting anything. We're not talking about terrorism here. There are no children being led astray by gambling sites. Tobacco and alcohol are exponentially more harmful to people than gambling, at its worst, could ever be, yet the government has little problem taxing these products and laughing as they count the money. But there's just something about gambling that the American government has always snubbed. Maybe it's because gambling is listed as a sin in the Bible, and too many American politicians allow their religion to dictate their policies. Hey, we're all about an open acceptance of any race, creed, culture or religion here! We're an everyone-is-everyone kind of site, and we make no judgments whatsoever on a person's beliefs. However, if an individual allows his or her beliefs to dictate to other individuals what they can and cannot do, then we have an issue. And it seems to be the case with American government that they judge gambling as immoral, for whatever reason(s), and then work in reverse to try to get rid of it.
They have been doing this for decades now, starting with the Federal Wire Act. States weren't having any issues with gambling per their own territories, but one issue was that someone from Idaho, for instance, could exchange money via a wire transfer with someone from Iowa, and who has the jurisdiction here to do anything? In its infinite wisdom—sarcasm alert!—the federal government thought, "Okay, we'll regulate this on a federal level, making it illegal for anyone, anywhere to transmit gambling monies via a wire!" Of course, this was also retrofitted to include the Internet, and now the Federal Wire Act is just one of a few regulations that seek to control gambling across the entire nation.
Then, because they apparently didn't like it that some states had different definitions of what constituted gambling, the federal government introduced the Bradley Act. While the language can get quite complicated inside of this law, it basically defines all sports betting in the US, whether amateur or professional, as an illegal activity that is prohibited by the federal government of America.
And who can forget the big one from George Bush? Two wars, the worst hurricane in history, and an imploding economy wasn't enough to take up President Bush's time. He still had plenty of time to go after gambling on the Internet, and in 2006 he signed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act into law, and this basically shut down the overwhelming majority of all sites on the planet that allowed US players to deposit and play. From racebooks and sportsbooks to poker rooms and casinos, Americans were dropped like a bad habit in droves, costing people billions of dollars and even sending some to prison.
The moral of the story here: The federal government does not like gambling. They view it as not only illegal but immoral, and they have been trying for decades now to shut it down. What they cannot shut down, however, is your right as an American to gamble where gambling is legal. So if you can find a website with which to bet, or a casino at which to gamble in Idaho, the government is powerless to stop you from gambling. So long as you comply with tax codes, you can gamble wherever gambling is legal.
Idaho Land Based Gambling Options
For a state that technically holds gambling to be an illegal activity, you can sure find a lot of casinos inside of Idaho. All told, the state has 16 separate casinos spread out across its territory. None of them really qualify as a huge resort like you would find in Las Vegas, but quite a few of them do have hotels and restaurants and a wide selection of games offered. The Coeur D'Alene Casino Resort Hotel, for instance, has 1,600 slot machines, 6 poker tables, blackjack, off-track betting, bingo, craps, and more. They also have a legitimate spa, a shopping mall, and other draws. For Idaho, this is as close to a legitimate resort as you're going to find, but it's only one of many casinos around the area.
The Double Down Betting Sports Bar & Grill is a small location that has around 40 slots machine, simulcast betting, and racing. Then you have places like the Eastern Idaho Fair and Emmett Horse Races at the Gem County Fair. These are horse tracks, of course, and you can bet on a wide range of horse races. Other casinos and racetracks inside of the state include the Fort Hall Casino and Hotel, the Greyhound Park and Event Center, Ida Racing at Sandy Downs, It'se Ye-Ye Bingo and Casino, the Kootenai River Inn Casino, and more.
Idaho's casinos are not only numerous but also incredibly popular throughout the entire region. People are constantly showing up from Salt Lake City over in Utah to play in Idaho, and the state also picks up tourism from places like Oregon, Montana and Wyoming. With 16 different casinos and racetracks in the state, there is a whole lot going on for people who appreciate live betting.
Boise State Broncos Football
The biggest sports program in Idaho is the Boise State Broncos football team. As a Division I FBS football team playing in the Mountain West Conference, the Broncos, who began playing collegiate football in 1933, have enjoyed some of their best success in school history since the turn of the century. In fact, the football program is 12-6 in bowl games since 1999, including a 3-0 record in the Fiesta Bowl. The Broncos are most well-known for their unique blue field at Albertsons Stadium, becoming the first non-green playing surface in football history when it became a staple to the program in 1986.