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Idaho Legal Poker

Last Update: April 4, 2015

Online Poker

There is no statute in Idaho dealing specifically with online gambling. The state may feel that its blanket constitutional ban on gambling (with the consequent criminalization of gambling in the Idaho Statutes) makes the matter clear. Of course, as is the case with many states that lack statutes regarding online gaming, if the online gambling is legal where the computer servers are located, it may not be illegal for players in Idaho to play. There is no known case of Idaho players being prosecuted for internet gambling.

Live Poker

Believe it or not, poker is specifically prohibited under Article III, Section 20 of the Idaho state constitution. The definition of gambling found in the Idaho Statutes also includes a direct reference to “poker”. Participating in gambling is a misdemeanor in Idaho, so by extension, participating in real-money poker in Idaho is a misdemeanor. That also includes participating in any home games. Because of the severe restrictions on casino gambling found in the state constitution and the state code, the ten tribal casinos that operate in Nevada only offer video gaming machines and bingo. Live poker cannot be found at any of them.

A tribal challenge to this law failed in 2014, when an Idaho court ruled against the Coeur d’Alene tribe, who were attempting to host poker tournaments under Class II gambling laws.

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