Sports Betting In Idaho

IdahoSurprisingly, 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 is not one of the four lucky regions that were exempted from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, 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.

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Is Online Sports Betting legal In Idaho?

LegalitiesWe 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.

Sports Franchises In Idaho

There may be a lot of casinos in the state of Idaho, but they don't actually have a lot of sports teams to root for. For whatever reasons, professional teams just don't like to set up shop in these locations. There aren't very many professional teams at all in that entire four-state region, so it's no surprise that Idaho doesn't have a strong presence. One can understand the NFL not wanting to set up shop out in Idaho, and it also makes a little sense for the NBA. But what about Major League Baseball? Baseball and Idaho are practically inseparable; millions of kids came up through the little league system playing baseball, and there's actually a very vibrant market in that region if only MLB would throw a team out there. As it stands, however, baseball in Idaho is mostly played at the school level, which includes collegiate baseball.

Another sporting league that could fit a team into Idaho is Major League Soccer. Although Idahoans aren't exactly head over heels about soccer, the market there for MLS is just as viable as any other region in the nation that isn't a major city. Boise has more than enough infrastructure and a fan base to support a soccer club, but most professional leagues won't even look at Idaho on a map, much less think about setting up shop there. That's just one of the downfalls of living out there in farm country. No one really takes you seriously when looking to locate a sporting team. Idaho is considered to be part of fly-over country, which means that they don't have the type of appeal to bring people in. What professional leagues think is that even if they set up shop there, they wouldn't get anyone from outside the state traveling to watch the games, so the attendance would be solely based on the home crowd. But this is a formula that can work, so it makes no sense that professional leagues run from it. Just look at the Green Bay Packers.

The biggest sporting program going in Idaho is with the Boise State Broncos, the men's football segment. As a D1 football team playing in the Mountain West Conference, the Broncos have been a top-25 bowl team for a few years. They even threaten the National Championship on occasion, but their biggest issue has always been the BCS rankings overlooking their accomplishments. For instance, Boise State could go undefeated, and the BCS would have them ranked #10 in the nation, behind teams with two losses. Now, however, there's a new system in place, and Boise State might just make Idaho proud.

Can Boise State Compete For A Playoff Spot This Year?

If you're looking for a safe sports bet in Idaho, then it doesn't get any better than betting on Boise State to beat any in-division rival they face. They are the cream of the MWC, and there's not a team out there that can handle the Broncos' high-flying offense and stifling defense. Starting last year, the BCS was done away with and was replaced with a playoff system. This means that an undefeated Boise State this year would be almost impossible to keep out of a playoff. They are a D1 team. They play legitimate opponents. And if they win, that's all they should need to make it in to a playoff spot. We don't predict that it will happen, but we do give it a decent shot. If teams like Alabama and Ohio State falter early on, this sets the stage for a Boise State team that can grab a top-six ranking and play their way into the playoff if teams from the SEC and ACC, etc, end up with blemished records.

If you live in Idaho and are looking for a place at which to bet on sports, then let us direct you to a viable online website. We know all about sportsbooks and how they operate, and we know which ones are willing to accept US players and which ones are the most lucrative. Gambling is always a risky venture; there's no way around that. But we try hard to deliver to you useful information that helps you eliminate many of the risks while maximizing on rewards. And it all starts with legal gambling from your home in Idaho.