Sports betting is not legal in Idaho, and there do not appear to be plans to change that anytime soon.
None of Idaho’s legislators have submitted a bill to legalize sports betting since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, was deemed unconstitutional in May 2018.
It would be difficult to predict when sports betting might be legalized since there appears to be no appetite for it at the legislative level. With most state budgets impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, however, that could change in the future.
Idaho likely is already losing tax dollars to its border states when it comes to sports betting, however. Three of its border states – Montana, Nevada and Oregon – have legal sports betting. Washington state has not yet launched but legalized sports betting in 2020.
When will online sports betting launch in Idaho?
Without any movement at the legislative level, it’s nearly impossible to estimate when, if ever, online sports betting will launch in the state.
One thing is certain: if Idaho wants to keep up with neighbor states, it would likely have to launch online sports betting. Otherwise, business may continue to travel over its borders.
Oregon’s sports betting market is completely online right now and allows for remote registration. The Oregon border isn’t far from Idaho’s biggest metropolitan area, which includes the capital of Boise.
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Legal betting options in Idaho
Right now, there are currently no legal sports betting options in the state of Idaho.
Idaho has a couple of options to launch sports betting, if it ever chooses to legalize. Sports betting could be run through the state’s lottery, though those monopoly operations often limit potential tax dollars.
The state could also opt for an online-only format, similar to Tennessee.
Finally, Idaho does have 10 tribal casinos and gaming locations that could offer retail sports betting.
There are, however, websites that suggest they can accept bets from anywhere in the United States, including Idaho. These are offshore sportsbook operators that are not licensed anywhere in the US.
Since these offshore operators run their business without a license legally in the US, there is no consumer protection for anyone that chooses to bet with them. This means if the sportsbook chooses not to pay out a winning bet or close their operation without refunding customer accounts, there is no legal recourse to recover those funds.
Most potentially popular sports to bet on in Idaho
There aren’t any professional sports teams in Idaho, though there is at least one college team that gets a professional level of respect.
The Boise State Broncos are Idaho’s only Division I FBS football team. Boise State is a regular when it comes to postseason college football bowls, so no doubt the Broncos are amongst the top favorite teams in the state.
Of course, Idaho would have to allow betting on in-state colleges in order to bet on Boise State. Some states, like New Jersey and Virginia, have decided to ban betting on those games.
There are plenty of sports teams located in Idaho’s border states that could also be popular bets. Those include the MLB‘s Seattle Mariners, the NBA‘s Portland Trail Blazers and Utah Jazz, the NHL‘s Vegas Golden Knights, and the NFL‘s Las Vegas Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.
Idaho and daily fantasy sports
Unfortunately for everyone that lives in Idaho, daily fantasy sports are also banned in the state.
Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden determined daily fantasy sports contests constitute gambling under state laws. He negotiated with DraftKings and FanDuel to get them to stop accepting players from within the state’s borders.
Daily fantasy sports contests have been illegal for Idaho residents to enter since May 2016.
Is horse racing legal in Idaho?
Yes, horse racing is legal in Idaho.
There are four tracks that list race dates for 2020:
- Cassia County Fair
- Eastern Idaho State Fair
- Oneida Downs
- Pocatello Downs
Other tracks listed by the state’s racing commission are Jerome Racing, Rupert Downs and Sandy Downs.
Betting on horse racing is also legal in Idaho. The Greyhound Park & Event Center in Post Falls is listed at the state’s only simulcast facility.
Some of the biggest advance deposit wagering operators, like BetAmerica, TVG and TwinSpires, also accept customers from Idaho. That means horse racing bettors can place bets on their computer or phone.
Idaho sports betting FAQ
Is sports betting legal in Idaho?
No, currently sports betting is not legal in Idaho.
Where can I bet on sports in Idaho?
There are no locations where sports betting can take place in Idaho.
Can I bet on sports on my phone in Idaho?
No, since sports betting is not legal, no mobile betting is allowed in the state.
There are online sportsbook operators that will say they can accept bets from anywhere in the US, including Idaho. These offshore sportsbooks are not licensed to take bets from any US jurisdiction, however.
That means if someone chooses to bet with these websites they will have no consumer protections. There will be no legal recourse to force an offshore sportsbook to pay out a winning bet or return customer funds if the website shuts down.