Neither retail nor online sports betting is legal in Idaho, and this is unlikely to change in the near future as there have been no bills introduced to legalize it.
Despite other types of gambling being legal in the state, Idaho has been very hesitant to join the many states that have legalized sports betting since the US Supreme Court declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional in 2018.
Here’s everything you need to know about online sports betting in Idaho.
Recent News and Details About Sports Betting in Idaho
- Sports betting is not legal in Idaho, and this is not expected to change anytime soon as state lawmakers have yet to introduce any sports betting legislation since the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018.
- Several states that border Idaho, including Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Nevada, have legalized sports betting. As a result, the state is likely losing substantial tax dollars to these states as residents travel across the border to bet on sports.
- Horse racing is legal in Idaho, and there are several race tracks in the state that host races. Advance deposit wagering platforms like TVG, BetAmerica, and TwinSpires accept entries from residents in Idaho. The Greyhound Park & Event Center also offers simulcast racing.
- Idaho is one of the few US states that explicitly prohibit daily fantasy sports (DFS) contests. The state’s attorney general determined that these contests constitute gambling under the state’s laws, and residents are no longer able to participate in them.
Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Idaho?
When the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018, it opened the door for states to legalize both retail and online sports betting. While several states immediately began working on sports betting legislation, Idaho is one of few states that have made no attempts to legalize sports betting.
None of the state’s legislators have introduced a bill to legalize sports betting despite several neighboring states launching retail and online sports betting in recent years.
How Do Idaho Residents Feel About Sports Betting?
It’s difficult to determine how Idaho residents feel about sports betting as there have been no efforts to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court overturned PASPA in 2018. There have been no sports betting bills or ballot measures, making it unclear whether or not voters support sports betting legalization.
In 2018, Idaho Proposition 1, the Authorize Betting on Historical Horse Races Initiative, was on the ballot. This initiative would have legalized the use of video terminals to bet on historical horse races. This measure failed as 53.8% of voters voted against it. While not directly related to sports betting legalization, this outcome does indicate a lack of enthusiasm regarding the expansion of gambling in Idaho.
The National Council on Problem Gambling’s National Survey on Gambling Attitudes and Gambling Experiences found that 50% of people in Idaho disagree with the idea that gambling is immoral. The same survey also found that, if sports betting is legalized in Idaho, 60% of people agree that sports betting operators should implement responsible gambling measures.
Are Daily Fantasy Sports Apps Legal in Idaho
Daily fantasy sports apps are popular alternatives to sports betting apps, particularly in states that have yet to legalize sports betting. These apps allow users to create fantasy sports teams and enter contests to compete against other users for cash and other prizes. Even in states that have not legalized sports betting, these apps are often legal as they can be viewed as games of skill due to the outcomes of contests being at least partially dependent on the player’s sports knowledge.
While DFS contests are available in most US states, Idaho is one of the few to prohibit them. Attorney General Lawrence Wasden classified DFS contests as gambling under the state’s laws and negotiated with DraftKings and FanDuel to get them to stop accepting entries from players in Idaho. DFS contests have been illegal in Idaho since 2016, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon.
Idaho Sports Betting FAQs
|Is online sports betting legal?||No|
|Is mobile sports betting legal?||No|
|Is betting legal at retail locations?||No|
|Minimum legal gambling age||N/A|
Editor’s Note: Information accurate as of August 2022.
Neighboring States That Legalized Sports Betting
All but one of the states that border Idaho have legalized sports betting, including Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Utah is the only neighboring state that has yet to pass sports betting legislation.
- Montana: Montana legalized sports betting in 2019, and both retail and online sports betting launched in 2020. There are over 100 retail betting locations available in the state, but online sports betting is limited to the Sports Bet Montana app, which is operated by the Montana Lottery.
- Nevada: Nevada is home to a thriving sports betting industry, and is the only state that was able to offer legal sports betting prior to the overturning of PASPA. Retail sports betting has been legal since the 1900s, and online sports betting has been available for over a decade. Several major online sportsbooks are available in Nevada, including BetMGM, Caesars, William Hill, and Golden Nugget.
- Oregon: Oregon legalized sports betting in 2019. Retail sports betting is available at tribal casinos, and online sports betting is available via the DraftKings Sportsbook app.
- Washington: Sports betting launched in Washington in 2021. Retail sports betting is widely available, but online sports betting is only available while on-site at a licensed casino.
- Wyoming: Sports betting in Wyoming is limited to online betting. Major sportsbooks like DraftKings and BetMGM operate in the state, and several more are expected to launch in the near future as more sportsbook operators apply for licensing.