Of the many US states, Idaho is one of the strictest when it comes to online gambling and gambling in general. As you know, every state in the US has its own governing body and its own constitution. Gambling is one area that most constitutions cover by law. You’ll find that states are either in favor of gambling, partially in favor, or not at all.
In this article, we look at Idaho gambling specifically. We review the gambling laws that the state has and list all its available casinos. We also go back in time to see where gambling in Idaho all began, and where it is now.
Gambling laws in the state of Idaho are very clearly stated in its constitution. It covers all forms of gambling that are prohibited and gives consequences for all persons who are guilty of not adhering. For formalities sake, the Idaho constitution defines gambling as risking money, or any asset of value using a device or during an event to win money in return. It includes games like online blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, keno and poker. But does NOT include games or events that test personal speed, endurance, and strength. It also doesn’t include business transactions or promotional contests held by businesses.
Gambling is considered a misdemeanor in the state and you will be found guilty if you knowingly participate in gambling. Or, if you knowingly allow gambling activities to take place on your private property.
Forms of gambling permitted by the state:
A lottery regulated by the state
Charitable gaming like bingo and keno and raffles
Marketing, promotional contests
Idaho Gambling Casinos
By now you would’ve noticed that gambling restrictions in the state are super tight. Many forms of gambling are not yet allowed. For this reason, you won’t find any online casinos in the state. But, thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, and the petition for tribal gaming, you will find a few tribal casinos. There is a total of 7 casinos located on tribal land. They are Fort Hall Casino, Clearwater River Casino & Hotel, Bannock Peak Casino, Coeur D’Alene Casino, and Sage Hill Travel Center & Casino among others.
History of Idaho Gambling
The Idaho constitution was established in 1890. And, at the time, it clearly outlawed lottery games. The lottery was also one of the first forms of gambling known at the time.
The first make of slot machines was designed in the 1930s, then known as one-arm bandits. There was no law banning these machines at the time. They were also widely played and quickly became popular. Over a decade later the use of one arm bandits was banned, joining the ban of lottery games.
It was only in 1953 when an official law was passed, completely prohibiting anyone from playing on these slot machines. This ruling was made by the Supreme Court.
A few years later in 1957, the Horse Racing Act was approved, but not yet passed. In 1963, a second Horse Racing Act was passed and signed into law. The Idaho State Racing Commission was then created and put in charge of horse racing activities in the state.
In 1988, the Lottery Creation Act was passed and later approved. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was approved that same year.
Class iii Casino Games
1992 was a major breakthrough year for tribal casinos. Three tribal organizations gathered and began the tribal compact to gain access to class iii gaming which included classics like blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and slot machines. Class i and ii games also formed part of the compact and included games like bingo and charitable raffles.
Sadly, this was quickly cut short because of debates around the morale of these games. That same year, lawmakers explicitly made class iii games illegal. This meant that only lottery games, pari-mutuel races, and charitable games were allowed in the state.
However, some light was shed over the situation in 2002 when the class iii gaming debate was put to the public by referendum. 57.8% of people voted in favor of tribal casinos offering class iii gaming. Because of this, tribal casinos were given the green light to operate video gaming machines. This right came with a few terms and conditions, of course.
In recent years, gambling in the state progressed slightly. People are now able to be money on horse races, play lottery games freely and participate in any form of charitable gaming.