Can You Play Online Poker in Idaho?
No. You cannot play online poker legally for real money in Idaho. While the state does have a few land-based casinos and some forms of gambling are allowed, online poker is criminalized in the state’s laws, which means residents in the state have very limited options for enjoying a good hand of poker.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in Idaho?
Idaho has at least 7 state-regulated commercial casinos and over a dozen tribal casinos. Despite this, the state’s constitution explicitly prohibits any form of “electronic or electromechanical imitation or simulation of any form of casino gambling”. This law effectively outlaws any form of online casino gambling, including poker, blackjack, craps, roulette, and so on, even by licensed casino operators.
Although online poker has been criminalized in Idaho, this does not completely deter locals who want to engage in online poker from doing so. Idaho residents who want to get in on some poker action online can do so through offshore gambling sites.
Offshore operators such as ACR Poker and Ignition welcome Idaho poker players to play online poker and other casino games on their platforms – but doing so carries an inherent risk. These sites are not domiciled in the United States, which means they’re not under the jurisdiction of both federal and state authorities and are not affected by the laws prohibiting Idaho online poker.
While playing on unregulated sites like this is a viable way to enjoy a good game of poker, MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing on these sites. As a player living in Idaho, there are no guarantees of getting your money or playing a fair game when you play on offshore casinos.
Additionally, illegal activities or fraud may be perpetuated against players without any major repercussions because the laws meant to protect US citizens against these activities do not apply to them.
Potential Idaho Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in Idaho for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in ID will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in ID, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker Idaho
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker ID will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, ID is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think Idaho would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
The third ID poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.