Poker in Idaho
Gambling is legal in Idaho, a huge but lightly populated state in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but it is restricted to Native American reservations. Unfortunately, you can’t play poker in Idaho; the only legal forms of gambling in the state are slot machines and so-called “video poker” in the casinos. While the higher skill level of poker usually results in looser regulations than those imposed on other casino games, this is not the case in Idaho. None of the state’s seven legal land-based casinos are permitted to host poker games, with the largest being the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel in Fort Hall, Idaho.
The locals can’t even operate a rake-free poker system like the one in Texas because even social poker games are illegal. The police in Twin Falls, Idaho, raided even a low-stakes home game in February 2010 that was being hosted by retirees. In spite of widespread criticism, state lawmakers ultimately did not back down. Police overreach was acknowledged, but no action was taken to legalize poker games for social gatherings. In its place, local law enforcement must now obtain a warrant from a prosecutor’s office before undertaking a raid.
There were many forms of gambling popular in what is now the state of Idaho long before it was formally established. However, gambling was explicitly outlawed across the board in the new state’s constitution (drafted and ratified in 1889). After a lengthy debate, Idaho finally legalized one form of gambling in the 1970s. That would be slot machines, or “coin-operated amusement devices” as the law calls them. That law, too, was quickly struck down for being unconstitutional. In 1963, betting on horse races was finally made legal.
Following a referendum in 1988, the state lottery was officially launched, and in 1992, the state constitution was amended to legalize the lottery. In 2009, slots and video poker were decriminalized, but only on tribal lands. Poker, alas, may not be legalized any time soon in the Gem State.
- An estimated 1,787,000 people call the United States home.
- City: Boise
- Funds in U.S. Dollars ($)
- Local Time in UTC+7
- ID is the abbreviation for Idaho.
A Few Notable Poker Players From Idaho
Kevin MacPhee’s birthplace is Coeur D’Alene, Idaho. According to the Hendon database, he has won more than any other Idahoan at live tournaments, with a total of $5.967 million. One million euros were his prize for winning the €5,300 EPT Germany Main Event in Berlin in March of 2010. His previous best cash at a live tournament was that amount.
In the online poker world, he uses the aliases “ImaLuckSac” on PokerStars and “Wu Wizard” on the now-defunct Full Tilt. He has won over $7.750 million from multi-table tournaments (MTTs) played online.
And another Coeur d’Alene native, Dylan Linde, has won $4.954.000 in live tournaments. In December of 2018, he won the Main Event at the WPT Five Diamond World Poker Classic for $10,400 and $1.631 million. He won the championship in a head-to-head match against Serbia’s Milos Skrbic.
Live poker in Idaho
Idaho’s poker laws
An outline of this was presented at the beginning of the piece. General gambling in Idaho is governed by Idaho Statutes Section 18-3801 et seq., while horse race betting is governed by Section 54-2501 et seq.
Poker is, unfortunately, outlawed along with other casino staples like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette. Gambling on the outcome of horse races, lotteries, video poker, and slot machines are all sanctioned. The Idaho State Lottery Commission is in charge of issuing licenses and enforcing rules regarding these.
Places to Play Poker Live in Idaho
We’ve stated above on multiple occasions that card rooms are illegal in Idaho. Nevada is home to Las Vegas, the world’s largest and most famous gambling destination, but neighboring Montana has more casinos than Nevada does.
That’s not all; Idaho is surrounded on two sides by states where it’s legal to play poker in person, Nevada and Oregon.
Slot Machines, Poker, and Other Games at Idaho’s Gambling Establishments
Casino Games in Idaho
When it comes to legalizing online gambling, the situation in Idaho is similar to that of the majority of other states. Federal laws like the 1961 Wire Act and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act make it illegal because no specific laws exist to regulate it. In Idaho, there is no pending legislation that would alter this situation.
Real money play is permitted on sweepstakes-style poker apps like PokerBros and Global Poker. Alternatively, you can try your luck at America’s Cardroom and other similarly unregulated offshore sites.