Gambling Laws in Idaho
Currently, Idaho prohibits full-blown sports betting. Such laws would need to be repealed or amended before full-scale sports wagering would be permitted, something we discussed in greater detail on our dedicated Idaho gambling page. Idaho Code 18-3802 makes most forms of gambling illegal. This law consequentially covers games of chance like poker, craps or roulette. The only current government-approved forms of gambling are the State Lottery and charity bingo and raffle type games. Additionally, lottery games including the big multi-State prizes of the Mega Millions and PowerBall – as well as instant play scratch-card type games are permitted for gambling. Betting on sports via the Internet is not legal in Idaho. Luckily, the laws that are in place are meant to punish bookmakers and online casinos, so private citizens should still be able to take advantage of their services without any great fear of prosecution. It is not anticipated that Idaho will be rushing to legislate online poker games any time soon.
- We use trusted sources such as The Spokesman Review and Casper Star Tribune to gather any relevant industry news.
- We aren’t just experts in sports betting, we have dedicated teams across the gambling sector including for casino games such as slots and have created an online roulette guide.
- We keep on top of any changes to the law by being in close contact with the Idaho Statesman Business News.
Most Popular Sports in Idaho
Idaho has few major league sports teams, and this is primarily due to the lack of any sprawling metropolitan areas. The largest city of Boise has just over 205,000 residents, and this is generally considered too small to host a team from MLB, NBA, or the NFL. The state does have some minor league organizations. Additionally, Idaho has a large number of smaller four-year and junior colleges. This is the level that’s most popular with both amateur and professional gamblers, and it’s the only one where betting lines are consistently offered. Most county seats hold pari-mutuel quarter-horse racing a few days a year, and Boise’s racing season (including thoroughbreds) runs three days a week for five months. Polo was one of Boise’s leading sports from 1910 through the 1940s. Lastly, skiing and golf are quite popular throughout the state, with a world-class resort at Sun Valley hosting these sports.
Minor League Baseball – Idaho Falls Chukars
The Idaho Falls Chukars are a professional baseball club based in Idaho Falls, Idaho. The Chukars are also a Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Kansas City Royals. They are the only professional sports team in Eastern Idaho and have one of the most loyal fan bases in the Pioneer League. As a testament to their popularity, more than one million fans have attended Idaho Falls home games since the team moved into Melaleuca Field in 2007. Some famous baseball alumni of Idaho Falls teams include Billy Martin, Joe Maddon, Jose Canseco, Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer and Billy Butler. The Chukars have had success on the field over couple seasons from 2013-2016, winning the Pioneer League Championship in 2013 and making another championship appearance in 2015. In the 2016 season, the Chukars had the top-ranked offense in the Pioneer League in terms of batting average, and were sitting in a tie for first place in the South Division at 26-22.
National League Hockey – Idaho Steelheads
Based out of Boise, the Idaho Steelheads are a professional minor league ice hockey team. The team began playing in 1997 and has been a member of the East Coast Hockey League since 2003. As of the end of the 2017–18 season, the Steelheads have never missed the playoffs in either the West Coast Hockey League or the East Coast Hockey League, and with the Detroit Red Wings elimination from the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs, they are currently in ownership of the longest current playoffstreak in professional hockey at twenty-one seasons. Since joining the ECHL for the 2003-04 season, the Idaho Steelheads have been synonymous with success. The team has reached at least the conference semifinals in six of the past nine seasons and hoisted the Kelly Cup in 2004 and 2007, narrowly missing out in 2010. In early 2019, it was confirmed that the Steelheads were approached by the upcoming Seattle NHL team with an interest in the Steelheads becoming their American Hockey League affiliate.
National Collegiate Athletic Association – Idaho Bengals
The Idaho Bengals are the varsity athletic teams representing Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho in intercollegiate athletics. The university sponsors a range of thirteen teams including men and women’s basketball, cross country, tennis, and track and field; women-only golf, soccer, softball, and volleyball; and men-only football. The Bengals compete at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level (Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) for college football) and are currently a member institution of the Big Sky Conference (Collegiate Athletic Conference).
National Collegiate Athletic Association – Idaho Vandals
The Idaho Vandals are the college football team that represents the University of Idaho and plays its home games at the Kibbie Dome, an indoor facility on campus in Moscow, Idaho. The Idaho football program began 126 years ago in 1893, and through the 2017 season, the Vandals have an all-time recordof 463–611–27. They have played in three bowl games in their history and have been victorious in the Humanitarian/Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise in 1998, 2009, and 2016. As a Division of the National Collegiate Athletic Association program for 18 seasons (1978–1995), Idaho Vandals made the playoffs eleven times and advanced to the national semifinals twice (1988, 1993).
History of Sports Betting in Idaho
Like many Western States, gambling went hand-in-hand with the history of settlement in Idaho. In the days of the gold-rush, speculators were happy to gamble their profits in casinos which were regulated by the individual towns and cities. This trend lasted until after World War 2, when a new town was ‘artificially’ created on the outskirts of Boise with the intention of offering a gambling haven for residents of that city. In 1953, Idaho state legislature declared all gambling as illegal and banned slot machines, lottery and poker betting. Till today the betting options are limited. There are some betting possibilities, you can bet on horse racing (using pooled or pari-mutuel betting) at live racetracks or licensed venues. Charitable gambling like bingo, raffles and even duck racing is available – with each event requiring a license. You are also free to bet on pool or billiards.
|Pre 1945||Profit gambling in Casinos were widespread and allowed by law|
|1953||1953 Legislation banned almost every type of gambling game|
|2017||Horse race betting along with charitable gambling and pool betting are among the limited options provided currently.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in Idaho
As you are not legally allowed to bet on sports in Idaho there is no official age for doing so. However, if it were to be legal, it seems it could follow suit with other age control limits imposed in the state. Alcohol consumption in Idaho is subject to age restrictions of 21 years of age. So, it would seem this would be the natural rule to follow when sports betting in Idaho is legalized in the future.
Sports Betting AgeThere is currently no specified legal age, as sports gambling is restricted in Idaho. It is expected that there will be new regulations in the gambling law of the state that will legalise sports betting. Until then, any form of sports gambling is prohibited for native playes.
Alcohol AgeThe legal drinking age is 21 in Idaho. Purchasing, possessing or consumation of any form of alcohol is strictly prohibited for anyone under the legal age. Providing alcohol to minors is also illegal. There are national media campaigns, created to prevent underage drinking in the state.
Marijuana AgeMarijuana is not legal in Idaho in any form. An attempt to legalize a certain type of medical marijuana oil was vetoed in early 2016 after the Senate passed the bill. There is no current legislation attempting to legalize medical or recreational marijuana in Idaho.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the State?
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. Take a look at what the neighbouring states have in stock!
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
Since sports betting is currently not legal, it is difficult to say what potential legalization and resulting tax on winnings from sports betting could be.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in Idaho Sports Betting Law
In May of 2018 the US Supreme Court Ruling repealed a decades-old federal ban on sports betting called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Striking down PASPA has given lawmakers in every state the authority to make their own laws on the matter and potentially cash in on what is already a multi-billion dollar industry. Unfortunately for sports fans in Idaho, the future of a legal market in the Gem State looks bleak. It’s worth noting that neighboring states like Montana, California, and Oregon all had sports betting laws grandfathered in via PASPA which has streamlined those states’ efforts to move to a fully legal market. With this being the case, it’s certainly going to be interesting to see how the collective views and opinions of Idahoans might change in the coming years and decades if their neighbors begin to enjoy lucrative economical (and other) boosts from a more progressive stance on legalized sports gambling.