As is the norm in the western states, horse racing is a strong gambling product in Idaho. While there is only one track in operation, Idaho Downs (IdaBet.com), Off Track Betting is also available throughout the state. Players can also access horse racing online via sites such as TVG and BetAmerica.
State law in the Gem States prohibits gambling as “contrary to public policy” with three exceptions: a state lottery, pari-mutuel wagering, and bingo and raffles operated by charitable organizations. It also is one of only a few states that make it a crime to gamble, as opposed to providing games of chance.
Idaho had a thoroughbred horse racing track that held regular race meets for years – Les Bois Park in Garden Park, near Boise. But after passing a law in 2013 to allow the track to host historical racing machines – slot machine-like equipment that features historical horse races rather than spinning reels – the Legislature made a U-turn in 2015 and decided that the machines were in fact illegal slots, not pari-mutuel wagering.
That led to the closure of the track, and a subsequent ballot initiative to authorize the games was unsuccessful.
The only remaining live racing in the state is at Pocatella Downs, which hosts a short quarter horse meet in late spring, and six county fairgrounds, which mostly card quarter horse races but mix in a few thoroughbred contests.
legal Horse Racing Betting Sites in Idaho
- AmWager.com (with restrictions on some tracks)
Idaho law authorizes pari-mutuel horse racing betting via advance deposit wagering sites, either by phone or online. State residents are served by at least one state-based ADW online racebooks, Idabet.com (an affiliate of Sportech.net), and many major Idaho apps, including 123bet.com; AmWager.com (with restrictions on some tracks); BetAmerica.com; Dayatthetrack.com; DRFBets.com; TVG.com; and Xpressbet.com.
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