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Idaho Sports Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 13, 2021

Sports betting is a dud in the state known for spuds.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018 that opened up the possibility of sports betting across the nation, Idaho, famed for its top crop of potatoes, has made zero movement to bring betting to its citizens.

The most notable reference to athletics in legislation proposed in the last two years has been recognitions of Idaho athletes who participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics and congratulations for former University of Idaho football player and former Green Bay Packer Jerry Kramer, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Idaho’s law defining illegal gambling includes risking money in the operation of a gambling device or the outcome of an event, such as a sporting event, and the operation of casino games such as blackjack, roulette, craps baccarat, etc.

The state hasn’t outlawed all the fun – it has pari-mutuel betting on horse racing and a state lottery. Idaho also is home to seven tribal casinos that offer slots and video gaming rather than table gaming.

What horse racing operators can I use?

As the state allows parimutuel wagering you can place online wagers on horse racing with TVG, Bet America, and AM Wager.

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It’s a good bet that Idaho may never consider sports betting or if it does, it will be among the last. A few months after the Supreme Court ruling, when asked about the possibility of the state considering sports betting, Assistant Chief Deputy Attorney General Brian Kane said “To me, it’s so uphill that I haven’t even heard a whisper of a proponent. … The Constitution is very clear.”

Idaho’s Constitution would have to be amended to allow sports betting. Current law not only forbids in-state betting it also prohibits online or mobile betting through apps such as FanDuel or DraftKings. The state is so married to no wagers that in 2016 the state attorney general and two leading fantasy leagues agreed to clear all accounts that had an Idaho address.

Idaho residents wanting to bet have several options by crossing state lines:

·         Nevada obviously has multiple options for retail and mobile betting

·         Oregon offers sports betting through a mobile app Scoreboard and at tribal casinos

·         Montana has legalized betting but has yet to implement

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

No, and it is going to be a while, if ever.

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