The gambling outlook in Idaho

Nestled amidst the majestic Rockies, Idaho is often recognized for its picturesque landscapes, rich agricultural prowess, and yes, its iconic potatoes. However, when it comes to the gambling scene, the Gem State paints a rather mixed picture.

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📖 Published on: June 15th, 2023

✍️ Updated: 3 months ago

⏳ 21 mins read

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Historically, Idaho has kept a tight rein on its gambling activities, balancing between its conservative roots and the potential economic benefits of the industry. While the state has warmed up to certain forms of gambling – like the state lottery and tribal casinos – it remains reticent on others, such as online casinos and sports betting.

This careful dance has left many bettors and investors curious about Idaho's next move. As neighboring states expand their gambling offerings and reap fiscal rewards, the question lingers: Will Idaho double down on its existing stance, or could there be a shift in the cards? Only time will tell.

Idaho gambling laws and regulations

Alright folks, let's talk shop about Idaho and its gambling scene. Now, if you were imagining Las Vegas-style lights and sounds, pump the brakes a bit. Idaho's got its own unique flavor when it comes to gambling. First off, our state's constitution and a bunch of other legal documents lay down the law, pretty much spelling out the dos and don'ts. Now, Idaho isn’t a total stick in the mud – you've got your state lottery and a handful of tribal casinos giving folks a taste of the action. But, on the flip side, don't even think about placing a bet on that football game or trying your luck with online poker. The state's kinda old school that way. It's like a careful dance between modern times and Idaho's traditional values. So, before you roll those dice or pull that lever, make sure you're playing by the rules!

 

What is considered as legal gambling

Hey there, fellow Idahoans and curious wanderers! Ever wondered what's kosher in the Gem State when it comes to gambling? Well, let's break it down. Picture this: You've got your lottery tickets, and yep, they're A-OK. Feeling a little more adventurous? Tribal casinos are where it's at, offering everything from slots to bingo. If you're into charity events (and who isn't?), you're in luck! Bingo and raffle nights are golden, as long as they're for a good cause. And for those with a penchant for horse races, Historical Horse Racing Machines are the game du jour. They're like slot machines, but with past races. So, if you’re looking to try your hand at legal gambling in Idaho, there's a little something for everyone. Just remember to keep it fun, keep it safe, and always play by the rules!

 

What is considered as illegal gambling

Alright, folks, let’s dive into the flip side of the coin. While Idaho does give a nod to some gambling, there are a few no-nos you gotta watch out for. Think of these as the “out of bounds” markers. First up, if you’re dreaming of placing a bet on the big game this Sunday, think twice. Traditional sports betting? That’s a no-go in our neck of the woods. And for all you tech-savvy players itching to dive into online casinos, poker, or any of that virtual fun, I hate to burst your bubble, but Idaho's given it the thumbs down. The bottom line? While the Gem State has a few spots where you can scratch that gambling itch, there's a good chunk of the field that’s off-limits. Better to be safe than sorry, so always know where the line's drawn!

 

Legal age to gamble in Idaho

Alrighty, let's talk age and gambling in Idaho. Now, we all remember the thrill of turning 18, right? The freedom, the excitement, and in Idaho, the legal right to buy lottery tickets! That's right, once you hit the big one-eight, you can try your luck with those scratch-offs and Powerballs. But, hold onto your cowboy boots, because when it comes to stepping into the glitzy world of casinos, things get a tad trickier. While some tribal casinos will roll out the red carpet for you at 18, others might ask you to cool your heels until you're 21. Yep, a bit of a mixed bag! So, whether you're raring to test Lady Luck or just accompany your pals, it's always a good shout to double-check the age policy of where you're headed. Play it smart, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Real money casinos in Idaho

Howdy, fellow gamblers! If you're on the hunt for some real-deal, cash-on-the-line action in the Gem State, let's get the lay of the land. Now, Idaho isn’t exactly the Las Vegas strip, but don't count us out! We've got tribal casinos that are your go-to for that authentic casino vibe. From the tinkling of slot machines to the thrill of the blackjack table, they've got you covered. But before you get visions of going all-in like James Bond, remember our casinos have a unique Idahoan twist.

Many of them lean heavily on bingo-style games and slots. And yep, those Historical Horse Racing Machines are sprinkled in too, giving a nod to our state’s equestrian love. So, if you're looking to splash some cash and take a spin, Idaho’s real money casinos are waiting with open arms. Just remember: Play responsibly and have a blast!

 

Online casinos

Alright, let's cut to the chase about online casinos in Idaho. If you've got dreams of lounging on your couch, clicking away on your laptop, and hitting that virtual jackpot, you might need a reality check. Idaho, with its rugged landscapes and wide-open spaces, may feel like the frontier, but when it comes to online casinos, the state's put up a "no trespassing" sign. Yep, as of now, online casinos are a no-go in the Gem State. So, those flashy ads promising big online winnings? Best to steer clear. While many folks are itching to see if Idaho will ever roll with the times and embrace the digital age of gambling, for now, you're better off planning a trip to a brick-and-mortar tribal casino. Until things change, keep those chips and dice real, not virtual. Happy (and legal) gaming, Idahoans!

 

Land-based casinos

Buckle up, folks, and let's hit the open road to explore the land-based casinos of the Gem State! Now, Idaho might not be brimming with neon lights and glitzy skyscraper casinos, but what we lack in Vegas-style extravagance, we make up for with genuine charm. Most of our land-based action is nestled within tribal territories, where sovereign Native American tribes have carved out a space for folks to try their luck. Here, you can feel the energy from the slot machines, the camaraderie at the blackjack tables, and hear the real-life buzz of winners and hopefuls alike. It's a tangible, tactile experience where the old-school essence of gambling shines through. Plus, with the breathtaking Idaho landscape as a backdrop, it's a unique blend of nature and excitement. So, for those craving the real deal, nothing beats the heart-pounding thrill of a land-based casino in Idaho.

 

Tribal casinos

Alright, amigos, let’s take a scenic detour into the heart of Idaho’s tribal territories. Tribal casinos are the crown jewels of Idaho's gambling scene. These establishments, operated by Native American tribes, hold a special place both culturally and in the casino world. Set against the magnificent backdrop of Idaho's landscapes, they offer a unique blend of tradition and modern gaming.Stepping into a tribal casino, you're not just playing a slot or card game; you're dipping your toes into a rich tapestry of history and heritage. Many of these spots pay homage to tribal traditions, with décor and events that resonate with their cultural roots.But don’t be fooled into thinking it’s all about aesthetics. These casinos pack a punch with everything from slot machines to bingo halls. For many Idahoans and visitors alike, it's this combo of culture and casino action that hits the jackpot!

 

Shipboard and floating casinos

Ahoy there, mates! Let’s set sail and explore the waters of shipboard and floating casinos in Idaho—or rather, the lack thereof. Now, while the idea of gambling on the gentle waves, with a backdrop of Idaho’s scenic beauty, sounds downright dreamy, the reality is a tad different. Unlike some coastal states where shipboard casinos have made a splash, Idaho hasn't charted that course. Floating casinos? As of my last update, they’re as rare as a desert mirage in the Gem State.While the concept is certainly intriguing—imagine placing bets while enjoying a picturesque lakeside sunset—Idaho's laws have kept these watery wonders at bay. So, if you've got maritime gambling dreams, you might need to anchor them for now. In the meantime, our land-based options are here to keep that gambling spirit afloat!

 

Racinos

Alright, saddle up and let's trot over to the topic of racinos in Idaho! Now, if you're scratching your head wondering, "What the heck is a racino?", you're not alone. Imagine a race track, where the thunder of hooves meets the electrifying buzz of casino games—that, my friend, is a racino.Idaho has dabbled in this blended world of racing and casino gaming, particularly with the introduction of Historical Horse Racing (HHR) machines. These machines let players bet on old races, with the results determining the payout, kind of giving a slot machine vibe.However, it's essential to keep in mind that Idaho's flirtation with racinos has been a roller-coaster ride. There have been legal battles, pushbacks, and re-embraces over the years. So, while the racino scene isn’t as robust as in some other states, the Gem State has certainly taken it for a spin.

Idaho casinos

 

Off-track betting

Now, let's gallop over to another chapter in Idaho's gambling story: off-track betting, or OTB for those in the know. Picture this: you're sitting comfortably, away from the racetrack, maybe even in your local bar or lounge, and you're placing bets on live horse races happening miles away. Sounds snazzy, right?

Well, in Idaho, this scene is a bit subdued. While some states have fully embraced OTB, allowing folks to wager on horse races without setting foot at the racetrack, Idaho's taken a more cautious trot on this path. The presence of Historical Horse Racing machines has somewhat filled the void, letting folks bet on past races. But traditional OTB? It's been a slow race.

However, as the gambling landscape evolves, many are hoping Idaho might just pick up the pace in the OTB stakes. Until then, keep those bets on track!

Nearest land based casinos

We've compiled a list of the most trusted land-based casinos if you're searching for "Idaho casinos near me":

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It’Se-Ye-Ye Casino
ItSe-Ye-Ye Casino in the small town of Kamiah, Idaho, is just 6,000 square feet - but packs in plenty of entertainment! Here, visitors can play Video Poker, Slots, and Bingo. The hours are 9am-10pm, and on Fridays and Saturdays, the casino stays open until midnight. Alcohol isn't served, so it's a great family-friendly spot to experience some gaming excitement in the countryside. There's even free overnight RV parking for visitors, but no RV dump on-site. Head to ItSe-Ye-Ye Casino for some old fashioned gambling fun in the heart of Idaho.
419 Third Street, Kamiah, ID 83536
Phone Number:
(208) 935-7955
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Bannock Peak Casino
Bannock Peak Casino is located in Pocatello, Idaho, and provides Idahoans with an entertaining night out. The 5,000 square foot casino houses gaming machines only, so it's perfect for those who don't want to play against skilled and experienced dealers. Visitors must know that alcohol isn't served, and the casino's hours are from 10am-12am, or from 10am-1am on Fridays and Saturdays. There is RV overnight parking for those who want to stay overnight, but unfortunately, no RV dump. Whether you're from Pocatello or Idaho in general, Bannock Peak Casino provides a great place to relax and enjoy the night.
1707 W. Country Road, Pocatello, ID 83204
Phone Number:
(208) 235-1308
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Coeur D’Alene Casino Resort Hotel
Coeur D’Alene Casino Resort Hotel is located in Worley, Idaho and offers 30,000 square feet of casino entertainment. The resort offers 8 suites in a range of prices from $160 to $450 and 5 restaurants. Liquid refreshment is not a problem here as the casino has a bar and a liquor license. Valet parking is free, and an 18-hole golf course is available to guests. Guests may also make use of the spa. As for the casino, they have slots, video poker, bingo (Friday-Sunday), off-track betting, and keno. Overnight RV parking is offered for $20. There is no dump station on site, however.
37914 South Nukwalqw, Worley, ID 83876
Phone Number:
(208) 686-5106
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Kootenai River Inn Casino and Spa
Kootenai River Inn Casino and Spa, located in Bonnters Ferry, Idaho, offers 65 rooms with prices ranging from $169 to $189, and four suites with prices ranging from $299 to $399. The 30,000 square foot casino features slots, video poker, and bingo (which is temporarily on hold) and two restaurants, as well as a liquor store. The hotel is a Best Western and they also offer a spa. Those with RVs can stay overnight free of charge, but there is no RV dump.
7169 Plaza Street, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
Phone Number:
(208) 267 8511
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Clearwater River Casino and Lodge
Clearwater River Casino and Lodge in Lewiston, Idaho is a 30,000 square feet casino offers a variety of Slots and Bingo (Select Days). Guests 21 and over can enjoy drinks at the casino's restaurant. Accommodations at the casino include 47 rooms ranging from $89-$139, and three suites ranging from $189-$169. The casino also offers a 23-space RV park ($38 per night). So come on over to the Clearwater River Casino and Lodge to enjoy the best gambling experience Idaho has to offer!
17500 Nez Perce Road, Lewiston, ID 83501
Phone Number:
(208) 746-5733
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Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel
Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel, in Fort Hall, Idaho, is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. With 145 deluxe rooms and 11 suites ranging from $149-$229 & $275-$325, respectively, Shoshone-Bannock is sure to meet any budget. Plus, their 15,000 square foot casino floor boasts slots, video poker, and bingo (Wed-Sun). If you are traveling by RV, great news – they have a 27-space RV park ($37 -$42 per night). Hungry? The two on-site restaurants will keep you full and fueled. And don’t forget the beer and wine to give the glamourous night a perfect end.
777 Bannock Trail Drive, Fort Hall, ID 83203
Phone Number:
(208) 237-8778
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Sage Hill Travel Center & Casino
Sage Hill Travel Center and Casino is conveniently located in Blackfoot, Idaho. The 13,200-square-foot establishment offers a range of exciting experiences, including slots, video poker and a convenience store. Gamers will be thrilled with the hours of operation - 10am-1am/2am on Fridays and Saturdays- enabling patrons to lose track of time in the casino. The store also offers snacks and gas, making it a great stop before going anywhere. With its convenient location, hours and offerings, Sage Hill Travel Center and Casino is a great place to take a break while on the go.
2 North Eagle Road, Blackfoot, ID 83221
Phone Number:
(208) 785-0194
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Sports betting

Alright, sports fans, let’s huddle up and discuss the game plan for sports betting in Idaho. If you've been itching to lay down a bet on the big game or cash in on your March Madness bracket, I've got some news for ya. Idaho, with its rugged charm and love for the great outdoors, has been playing defense when it comes to sports betting. As of my last whistle, it's still on the sidelines in the Gem State.

While many states are jumping on the sports betting bandwagon, Idaho has kept its playbook conservative, keeping those wagers off the table. There's been chatter and debate, but no touchdown yet. Fans are hopeful that someday the state will catch the sports betting fever and let the games truly begin. Until then, it's game on for other forms of gambling in Idaho!

Social casinos

Alright, folks, time to dive into the world of clicks, likes, and virtual chips: welcome to social casinos in Idaho! In an era where social media reigns supreme, social casinos have carved a niche that merges the thrill of gambling with the fun of connecting online.

Here's the scoop: social casinos let players enjoy classic casino games, from slots to poker, all without wagering real money. Instead, you're playing for digital coins, bragging rights, or just the sheer joy of the game. Think of it as Vegas meets Facebook.

Now, Idaho, with its traditional stance on gambling, might throw a side-eye at online casinos, but social casinos? They're in the clear since no real money changes hands. So, for those Idahoans looking to spin the virtual reels or challenge friends to a hand of blackjack, social casinos are your ticket to safe, online fun!

Daily fantasy sports

Alright, sports buffs, let's step up to the plate and tackle the scene of Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Idaho. If you’ve been daydreaming of crafting that perfect lineup and taking home the virtual championship, here’s the score: Idaho has been playing a bit of hardball with DFS.

Daily Fantasy Sports, where players draft virtual teams based on real athletes and compete based on their real-world performances, has swept the nation. It’s that sweet spot between being a fan and a coach. But in the Gem State? It’s been a curveball. Idaho has drawn a line in the sand, expressing reservations about DFS and its proximity to gambling.

While many states have embraced this digital play-calling challenge, Idaho remains cautious. For now, fantasy aficionados in the state have to wait for the next play. But as always, the game can change at any moment!

Bingo

Gather 'round, bingo lovers, and let's dive into the nostalgic, dabber-filled world of bingo in the Gem State! Idaho and bingo share a love story that's as timeless as those vintage bingo halls with their checkerboard floors and wooden seats. It's not just a game here; it's an institution.

Bingo finds its place as one of the legal forms of gambling in Idaho, with charitable organizations often running the show. From church basements to community centers, the sound of the bingo caller and the anticipation as you wait for just one more number is a cherished experience.

And while it might not have the glitz of a casino or the adrenaline rush of a racetrack, bingo holds its ground with its community spirit and good ol' fashioned fun. So, the next time you hear B7 or N45 called, remember, in Idaho, bingo isn’t just a game—it’s a tradition!

Poker

Alright, card sharks, let's pull up a chair and deal into Idaho's poker scene! If there's one game that epitomizes the blend of skill, luck, and raw nerve, it's poker. But in the Gem State? The waters are a bit muddied.

Idaho has a love-hate relationship with the game. While poker has its roots deep in American culture, Idaho has kept the game at arm's length when it comes to playing for real money outside of tribal casinos. Within those tribal walls, poker tables come alive, chips fly, and players sport their best poker faces.

But if you're dreaming of hosting Texas Hold'em nights with pals for high stakes, pump the brakes. The state's been clear: keep it friendly, keep it low-stakes, or head to sanctioned venues. Still, Idaho's poker community remains hopeful that the winds of change might just bring a full house of opportunities!

Gambling tips

Howdy, gamblers! Ready to throw down in the Gem State? Before you ante up, let’s lay out a few golden nuggets of wisdom to ensure your gambling experience is more jackpot than bust:

  • Know your limits: It ain't a cowboy showdown; you don't have to go all-in. Set a budget and stick to it.
  • Education is key: Brush up on the rules. Whether it's poker, slots, or bingo, a little homework goes a long way.
  • Chase fun, not losses: Remember, the house always has the edge. If Lady Luck ain’t smiling, it might be time to tip your hat and walk away.
  • Stay sober: booze and bets? A recipe for regret. Keep your wits about you.
  • Seek balance: Enjoy the thrill, but don’t let gambling overshadow other joys in life.

Gambling in Idaho is about fun, folks. So, play smart, enjoy the ride, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

The history

Step into the time machine, folks, as we journey through Idaho's storied gambling past. The Gem State has seen its fair share of ups and downs in the world of wagers. Back in the wild days of the late 1800s, Idaho was a hotspot for gold prospectors. With them came saloons, and you guessed it, gambling. From poker games under dim lights to bets laid on the turn of a card, it was the Wild West in all its glory.But as the years rolled on, concerns about the morality and societal impact of gambling led to stricter regulations.

By the mid-20th century, many forms of gambling had been outlawed. It wasn't until later decades, with the rise of tribal casinos and limited forms of betting, that the pendulum began to swing back.Through it all, Idaho's relationship with gambling has been a dance—a mix of tradition, caution, and evolution.

 

The future

Peering into the crystal ball, what does the future of gambling in the Gem State hold? Idaho, with its rugged landscapes and traditional values, has often moved at its own pace, especially in the world of wagers.But as neighboring states roll the dice on more expansive gambling options, there’s a chance Idaho might not want to be left holding a dead hand. Online gambling, sports betting, and expanded casino offerings are trends hard to ignore, and the potential revenue boost might just be the ace up the sleeve Idaho needs.The younger generation, tech-savvy and eager for diverse entertainment options, could be a driving force.

As technology advances and attitudes shift, the state's lawmakers might face increasing pressure to reconsider their stance.While it’s uncertain where the chips will fall, one thing's for sure: Idaho's gambling story is far from over. Only time will reveal the next hand!

Responsible gaming in Idaho

Alright, folks, let’s level for a minute: gambling’s a hoot, but like sippin' a cold one at a summer BBQ, it’s best enjoyed in moderation. Idaho, with its rugged integrity and community spirit, has been proactive about keeping its residents safe in the world of wagers.

In the Gem State, the spotlight's on responsible gaming. There are resources aplenty for those who might feel they're sliding down a slippery slope. From helplines to counseling services, the message is clear: it's okay to seek help if the dice aren't rolling in your favor.

Casinos in Idaho also play their part, promoting responsible gambling practices and ensuring players know their limits. They’re not just there to take your chips; they're part of the community.

In Idaho, the thrill of the game should never overshadow one's well-being. After all, true winning is enjoying the game and playing it right.

FAQ

What is the legality of online gambling in Idaho?

Online gambling remains illegal in Idaho. The state has yet to legalize or regulate online casinos, poker, or sports betting. Traditional forms of gambling, such as tribal casinos and the lottery, are available, but the digital realm is still off-limits for those seeking to place wagers online.

How does Idaho regulate online gambling sites?

As of now, Idaho doesn't have a regulatory framework for online gambling, given it's not legalized. This means operating or participating in online gambling activities can lead to potential legal consequences. The state primarily focuses on enforcing its laws to prevent illegal online operations and advises residents to steer clear of unregulated sites.

Can I use a VPN to gamble online from Idaho?

While technically possible, using a VPN to mask your location and gamble from Idaho can be risky. Many online casinos and betting sites have measures in place to detect VPN use, and if caught, your account could be suspended, and winnings forfeited. Additionally, using a VPN doesn't change the legal status of online gambling in Idaho, so it's advised to tread cautiously.

Are there any legal online casinos in Idaho?

No, there aren't any state-sanctioned online casinos in Idaho. While there are tribal casinos operating within the state, online versions of these establishments are not legally available. Residents should be wary of offshore sites, as these aren't regulated by Idaho's laws and can pose risks in terms of fairness and security.

Author
Katarina Oakshore
Editor | Casinos and Gambling