Idaho, in many respects, seems like the perfect place for casinos both online and brick and mortar. While this may be so, the legal landscape surrounding gambling in Idaho is anything but straightforward. With the large presence of Native Americans throughout the state, you might be led to believe that a lot of gambling takes place on Native reservation lands—and you wouldn’t be too far off. With that said, however, reservation gaming in Idaho is not what it is like in a state like Florida.
For online casino players, the situation is a bit less confusing seeing as the state of Idaho has no laws that prohibit online casinos from offering services to players in the state. Being that no legal, regulated framework exists in the state, gambling online may seem a bit sketchy, but the fact of the matter is that it can be done safely so long as you know where to play.
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Is Online Gambling Legal in Idaho?
As it stands, there are no laws on the books that make it illegal for an average Idaho citizen to sit down in front of their computer and play blackjack or roulette. Ever since it first made an appearance well over a decade ago, not a single Idaho citizen has faced any sort of legal backlash for having placed bets at an online gaming establishment.
So many people have made the mistake of believing false rumors that claim playing real money casino games online is illegal. Though many of these rumors seem completely legitimate, they are wholly false.
Unfortunately, and unlike states like New jersey and Nevada, the state of Idaho has made little progress in the way of creating a legalized, regulated framework by which players within the state could play their favorite casinos games completely freely and legally online. The only thing that separates a regulated system from what Idaho has at the present moment in time is the fact that now, there is no institution by which a player can file a complaint or take legal action against an online casino. As it stands now, an online casino could theoretically take the money of its players and get away without ever having to face charges. Now, that rarely ever happens, but it is something that causes players to feel uneasy about the prospect of playing at online casinos.
With all of this being said, it is important to note that most every online casino available to Idahoans is legitimate. In fact, many of them are licensed and regulated too. These licenses and regulations, of course, are from countries other than the United States. While this may make it seem like some of these sites are difficult to trust, the fact of the matter is that almost all of them have pristine track records and no history of unscrupulous activity. Before ever playing at a site it is important that you do your own research and ensure that the site you are playing with coincides with your needs and is, in fact, legitimate.
Legal Status of Brick and Mortar Casinos — Idaho
The most interesting aspect of Idaho state law as it relates to brick and mortar casinos is the fact that slot machines are considered to be illegal, though they are also the most commonly utilized gambling device in the state. Back in the late 1940s, Idaho citizens voted to make all sorts of slot machines illegal. This law went so far as to even make it a misdemeanor to simply own a slot machine. This meant the Americana collectors ran the risk of being prosecuted simply for collecting what they viewed as pieces of American history.
When Native American casinos began popping up in the wake of this legislation, and they offered slot machines to patrons, there were more than a few eyebrows raised. With that being said, the Native tribes have not referred to them as slot machines, but rather lottery terminals, and the state of Idaho has not really bothered to dispute this. So even though gambling on slots is not legal in Idaho, it is the most commonly accepted form of brick and mortar gambling in the state.
Games like blackjack and roulette, however, are illegal and are found in no brick and mortar establishments, not even the ones on Native American lands. This can serve as just one more example of just how ridiculous and nonsensical American law can be with regard to gambling, both online and at brick and mortar sites. As far as what the future holds for brick and mortar real money gambling in Idaho, that much is uncertain. There does not seem to be a big push to expand the scope of legal casino play, so we anticipate that the laws that are in place presently will remain in place going forward.
In fact, with many of Idaho’s neighbors hosting extensive Native American casino networks, the effort to expand gambling in the state might be a moot one anyway, as there are much more convenient places for people to play games. For this reason, it seems likely that online casino play will only become more prevalent in Idaho.
Idaho Online Casinos & Gambling FAQ
- Abbreviation: ID
- State Motto: Let it be perpetual.
- Capital City: Boise
- Population Estimate: 1.7 million (39th)
- Website: http://www.idaho.gov/
What legal charges will I face if I get caught gambling online?
The short answer to this is that you will face no criminal charges for gambling online. Though online casinos are not strictly legal in the state, they are also not illegal and you will face no penalties if you choose to make use of them.
Are there a lot of online casinos for Idaho residents?
Yes, there are many online casinos offering their services to residents of Idaho and that number is constantly growing.
How do I know if an online casino is safe to play at?
The only way you can really know that the site with which you are dealing is safe to play at is by putting in a little bit of time to do research. By looking up reviews and other pieces of information online, you can find out just what exactly the public thinks about a specific online casino.
Is my money safe?
Whether you are making a deposit or looking to cash out your winnings, the fact of the matter is that, yes, your money is safe. Never have we heard of someone having their deposit or withdrawals cancelled by the government of Idaho. All in all, your money and all related transactions are just as safe at online casinos in Idaho as they are when you are purchasing goods from your favorite retailer.
Are legal online casinos in the works?
There is no clear answer to that as of yet. While other states work on establishing a legal, regulated framework for online casinos, Idaho is not much mentioned in that discussion.