Idaho Lawmakers Revisit Tribal Casino Issue of Slot Machines

The question of whether gaming machines in tribal casinos in Idaho are lawful will be re-examined by the House State Affairs Committee. The issue has so far been raised multiple times.

According to law, slot machines are not permitted in Idaho. However, following successful lobbying by Idaho tribes in 2002, an alteration to the legislation was passed allowing tribes to operate gambling terminals as long as they do not have levers and sell tickets instead of coins.

The decision has been seen as a loophole which tribes are exploiting to bypass the state’s ban on gambling. There have also been several court appeals but the tribes have ultimately won the right to keep those machines in their casinos.

As part of the current House offensive, Representative Tom Loertscher presented a bill on Wednesday that opposes the section of law dealing with tribal gaming machines. If the bill is approved, those terminals will no longer be legal. 

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