- We use trusted sources such as: The Idaho Statesman and the The Times-News to stay on top of all industry related news and developments.
- We aren’t just experts in sports betting, we have dedicated teams across the gambling industry including for casino games such as blackjack and have created an online roulette guide.
- We keep on top of any changes to the law by closely following the movements of the Idaho Attorney General’s Office and the State Government in Idaho.
- The Idaho Stateman
- The Twin-Falls Times-News
- Idaho State Government
What is Daily Fantasy?
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a competition that requires players to build a team of athletes from a particular league, with their points being earned based on the actual performances of players in real-life competitions. All players must build teams under salary caps and, competitions last for short periods – requiring players to build their teams weekly or even daily.
As of June 2019, DFS betting is illegal in the state of Idaho. For the time being, there is little sign that this will change in the near future.
Online Daily Fantasy Sports in Idaho – Overview
As far as states in the USA go, Idaho’s gambling laws are on the more conservative side. Their state constitution outlines that all forms of gambling except for lottery, bingo and horse racing are illegal. This means that all casino table games like poker, blackjack and slot machines cannot be played in the state if the player stands to lose any money.
For some time DFS was unofficially permitted in Idaho, until the state Attorney General declared that Daily Fantasy Sports did not align with state gambling laws and were thereby illegal. Popular DFS platforms DraftKings and FanDuel agreed to withdraw from Idaho on the condition that a legal path would be possible for both platforms to return if state law changed to allow DFS.
For now, there are no signs of DFS or sports betting to be legalized in Idaho, despite a nationwide push in most other states to legalize and regulate both activities. Idaho remains one of nine states in the US to ban DFS gameplay for its constituents.
In the meantime, we have created a list of the most popular sports in Idaho and how they could be played by residents once DFS is legalized.
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – An Online Blitz
As Idahoans’ favorite sport, we have every reason to believe that the NFL Fantasy League would be the most popular DFS league if legalized. Players could draft 9 of their favorite NFL stars into their lineup in either public or private contests, including popular currently playing Idaho-natives Dallas Cowboys players Leighton Vander Esch and Demarcus Lawrence. As the most popular DFS league in the USA, it’s no stretch to imagine that residents of Idaho would be joining the millions of other fans who choose to bet on NFL Fantasy every week.
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – Slam Dunking To Victory
Also hugely popular in Idaho is NBA. In the NBA Fantasy league, players must draft a lineup of 8 players from at least two different NBA games – all within a salary cap of $50,000 or under. As with other DFS, contests are won based on how many points each team member earns in real-life, e.g. 1 point for every point scored, 2 points for a block. Despite Idaho having no teams in the NBA or in any major professional league for that matter, NBA Fantasy wound surely be played by many Idaho residents who tune in to watch their favorite teams around the USA play weekly.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – A Diamond Opportunity
Idaho residents tend to root for a variety of teams in Major League Baseball, and it’s this knowledge that could give them a well-rounded advantage to play MLB Fantasy. In MLB Fantasy, players will draft a team of 10 players, with no more than 5 hitters allowed per team. Scoring can be generous in baseball games which can make for a much more exciting experience, with 10 points given for a home run, 5 points for stealing bases, etc.
Online Daily Fantasy MLS – Goal!
Idahoans are much more likely to enjoy outdoor leisure sports like fishing and golf than following most televised major leagues. Despite this, the Major Soccer League continues to garner greater interest from Idahoans with every passing season. The MLS Fantasy League sees contestants draft a team of 8 players from at least two different games. Contests are won by players scoring points and also by not having points deducted, e.g. while goals score 10 points, red cards will result in a 3 point deduction.
College Fantasy Sport – The Most Popular League In Idaho
Due to the lack of major league professional teams in the state, many Idaho residents are big followers of college sports – notably, college football. While Boise State University is represented in the NCAA league by their Broncos, the Idaho State University Bengals are the more popular and accomplished of the two programs. The Bengals have gone on to send a number of alumni players and coaches to the NFL.
Over their history, the Bengals have won one national title and 8 conferences with no signs of the team slowing down – the 2018 season resulted in an all-time record of .477. As excitement builds for another great season for the Bengals, you can bet that College DFS lineups will be full of players hailing from the team.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
Although Idaho had a rich culture of gambling in its early years, a lot of that changed in the mid-20th century, which saw legislation arrive that banned almost all forms of gambling. Since then some concessions have been made, but the state still has a long way to go in catching up to its neighbors in terms of gambling acceptance.
Below is a table of important years in Idaho’s gambling history. For more information on gambling in the state, visit our dedicated Idaho gambling page.
|1949||Casino table games are banned in Boise, with other towns and cities in the state soon to follow.|
|1953||Slot machines are banned in a state-wide prohibition effort. The ban is still in place.|
|1963||The Horse Racing Act is introduced, allowing betting on races at racetracks and country fairs.|
|1989||The first Idaho lottery is drawn, which a popular method of gambling that would grow to include inter-state games.|
|2016||Daily fantasy sports are declared illegal by the Idaho state Attorney General.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in Idaho
The gambling age laws in Idaho state that players must be at least 18 years old, to partake in any gambling games, which includes bingo, the state lottery, and horse racing.If a player is caught gambling underage, it is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable with no longer than six months in prison or a fine of $5,000.
DFS Betting AgeIt is illegal for Idaho residents to bet on DFS games in the state.
Alcohol AgeYou must be 21 years old to drink alcohol in Idaho.
Weed AgeRecreational smoking of cannabis is still illegal in Idaho.
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Daily Fantasy League betting in Ohio is perfectly illegal for the time being. The same can be said about Montana and nine other states where DFS is yet to be legalized. Interestingly enough, 3 of these states are neighbors to Idaho. Nevada and Washington are amongs those nine. There are a number of reasons why these states do not allow DFS, with some lawmakers considering DFS to be a game of chance and therefore not a healthy form of betting, while other lawmakers are struggling to overcome other complicated legislative roadblocks to make legalisation possible.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
As gambling on Daily Fantasy Sports is illegal in the state of Idaho, there is no way to legally declare this income on your annual tax return.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
Unfortunately for those Idaho residents who became DFS fans before it was declared illegal in 2016, it doesn’t look as though DFS legalization will be happening anytime soon in Idaho. Public attitudes towards gambling seem to be shifting at a glacial rate, while lawmakers have yet to introduce any legislation that will allow Daily Fantasy Sports to operate in Idaho.
Not only are residents potentially missing out on a game that a vast majority of other states in the country have deemed as fair enough to not be considered games of luck, but the Idaho State Government is turning away millions in annual tax revenue from this activity. For the sake of all involved, we hope that DFS will be legalized in the not too distant future for Idahoans.