Casinos in Idaho
Idaho is well known for excellent horse race betting opportunities and for excellent Native American casinos, which offer classic slot machines, video poker, bingo, off-track betting and traditional table games, such as online roulette, baccarat, or blackjack. In addition, Idaho operates a state-run online lottery. However, it is worth pointing out that like most states with a well-regulated land-based gambling industry, Idaho is very hostile towards illegal gambling operators and does punish individual gamblers that are caught playing in illegal gambling establishments.
Idaho Gambling Laws
The most important regulation pertaining to gambling is Section 20 of the Idaho Constitution, but you should keep in mind that all the specifics are covered in Idaho Statutes 18-3801 through 18-3810. Please note that while none of the aforementioned regulations refer specifically to online casino gaming, state officials could argue that playing over the internet is still illegal under the existing laws due to the fact that the rules mention electronic imitations and simulations of casino games:
“No activities permitted by subsection (1) shall employ any form of casino gambling including, but not limited to blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, bacarrat, keno, and slot machines, or employ any electronic or electromechanical imitation or simulation of any form of casino gambling.”
On a brighter note, Idaho officials don’t seem to be interested in going after individual offshore casino players, so it should come as no surprise that most sites have no qualms about accepting new deposits from casino enthusiasts located within the border of the state. Keep in mind that while no players have been prosecuted so far, there is no guarantee that this will be the case in the future.
As mentioned above, running any kind of an online gambling website from within Idaho is next to impossible and is very likely to land you in jail, which means that Idaho residents have no local online casino sites to play on. Offshore casinos are a different matter though, as many major network sites still accept Idaho residents, giving the access to all the games and bonuses that they have in store. Most of those sites boast massive, international player pools, which means that the jackpots and promotions available there dwarf the ones offered by local US sites that operate on the intrastate markets in Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey.
Offshore Casino Sites That Accept Idaho Players
Despite the rather strict anti-gambling regulations, most of the US-facing offshore casino sites readily accept Idaho-based players. It is worth pointing out that while the number of those sites is rather high, most of them are powered by Real Time Gaming software due to the fact that major software developers like Playtech or Microgaming tend to refuse to cooperate with casino businesses that accept American gambling enthusiasts. Nevertheless, the games offered on RTG sites tend to be quite varied, as the software allows the casino to include slots from other developers, such as BetSoft.
Processing gambling-related payments from Idaho players is considered to be too risky by e-wallet companies like Neteller or PayPal, which means that Idaho residents usually rely on their credit cards to fund their offshore casino accounts. Please note that while this deposit method isn’t 100% reliable, Visa cards that have been cleared for international transactions have a rather high rate of success. A few sites support Western Union and MoneyGram deposits, but going for this option usually requires the player to cover all the additional fees. Withdrawals tend to be handled with a standard wire transfer, but if you want to use an alternative cash out method, you can always request your winnings via a check by courier.
Developing Legal Scenarios
Both Idaho lawmakers and land-based gambling operators don’t seem to be interested in legalizing intrastate online casino gaming. No i-gaming bills have been proposed so far. In 2012, the director of Idaho State Lottery openly stated that Idaho legislators aren’t even considering launching an intrastate online casino market.