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Sports Betting – Idaho


Idaho sports betting is not legal.

Idaho has resisted any efforts to legalize sports betting. It is one of a dwindling band of outliers that have never come close to passing a sports wagering bill since 2018. The only other holdovers are Utah, Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, Kentucky, and North Dakota. Will Idaho ever roll out a legal sports betting industry?

States can legalize sports betting via the legislature or by putting a question on the ballot and allowing voters to decide. Lawmakers in Idaho would need to amend the statute to introduce a legal sports betting industry. Title 18, Chapter 38, states that gambling is illegal. It defines gambling as “risking any money, credit, deposit or any other thing of value for gain contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, the operation of a gambling device or the happening or outcome of an event, including a sporting event, the operation of casino gambling including, but not limited to, blackjack, craps, roulette, poker, baccarat or keno.”

Many other states had a similar blanket ban on gambling, which they amended after lawmakers introduced bills in the House or the Senate. However, no legislators in Idaho have ever introduced a sports betting bill, and there seems to be very little appetite for it.

Lawmakers in the Gem State may eventually be persuaded by the economic benefits of legalizing sports betting. Legal sports betting apps are now available in most neighboring states, including Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Oregon. Washington State has retail sports betting, but it has not yet introduced online sportsbooks. It is highly likely that Idaho is losing tax dollars to Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, and Oregon.

In the meantime, Idahoans can also head west to use the DraftKings app in Oregon. They can also head east to place bets via BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel in Wyoming. Finally, they can head northeast to use the lottery-run app in Montana.

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