Idaho Online Poker | Idaho Poker Rooms
The suddenness of the United States government’s crackdown on online poker giants PokerStars and FullTilt has left a lot of American players reeling. With fewer options for play a lot of talk has now centered on intrastate online poker. In this type of legislation each individual state would be able to decide whether or not they will provide online gambling to their residents. Those implementing this type of system will be able to offer online poker but players will only be able to compete against others from their own state. For bigger states with strong gambling history this seems like a slam dunk. However, residents in smaller states with ambiguous gambling laws have reason to be concerned about their ability to play internet poker in the future. One of the states fitting this description is Idaho. With a smaller population, no live poker rooms, and very little poker history it might be an uphill climb for the passing of Idaho Online Poker legislation.
There are a lot of laws going against poker in the state of Idaho. For one, non-profit home games are not allowed like in most other states. Also, there is language in Idaho gaming laws declaring poker is a game of chance, not a game of skill. In fact, poker is listed as a prohibited game in Idaho. Even the casinos in Idaho are not allowed to offer poker. This was due to restrictions levied upon the casinos back in the 1980’s that still exist today. These brick and mortar gambling halls offer just slots, video poker, bingo, and off-track horse betting. However, unlike their neighboring state Washington, playing online poker in Idaho is not against the law. At the very least this should bring a small amount of optimism for those looking to play internet poker in the future.
In fact, there have been recent raids on “illegal” poker games in the state by the police. The police went as far as to raid a senior citizen’s poker game back in March 2010, shutting down a weekly $20 poker game amongst the elderly that had been running for more than five years. The law itself does state “risking any money, credit, deposit or 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.” The raid was met with public outcry leading State Senator Kate Kelly to sponsor new legislation giving prosecutor’s discretion for investigating illegal gambling operations. While this will cut down on frivolous and costly raids it is not meant as a poker free-for-all in Idaho. Anyone operating a game for profit will be subject to fines and jail time. While this does not include online poker in Idaho it is just not a great sign of things to come for poker players in the “Gem State.”
With virtually no history of gambling and laws working against the game there is just little change for Idaho Online Poker in the future. The biggest problem facing residents wanting to play internet poker will not just be the laws, but also being attractive enough for online rooms to enter their market. With just over 1,500,000 residents and very little history of poker in the state there may not be enough demand to justify an online poker room opening in Idaho. Also, with so few players demanding the game there will not be enough pressured placed upon state politicians to make changes to their existing gambling laws. It is quite unfortunate but for the time being there will need to be a mindset change by those making the laws in order for Idaho Online Poker to stand any chance.