Saturday, May 3, 2014

Read 'Em and Weep: Idaho Says Native American Casino is Breaking Law

Posted By on Sat, May 3, 2014 at 10:32 AM

The state of Idaho thinks the odds are pretty good that a panhandle casino is breaking the law by offering live poker.

In March, the Coeur d'Alene Press reported that the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, in spite of warnings, was planning to open a live poker room this spring, holding live Texas Hold 'Em and Omaha games, in addition to regular tournament play.

"Poker is basically played all around [Idaho] every night in people's homes, at family reunions, at nursing homes and in family rooms," Coeur d'Alene Tribe Legislative Director Helo Hancock told the Press. "It goes on every day."

Idaho Lottery Commission Director Jeff Anderson told the Press that his office told the Tribe, "We did not think it was legal in Idaho," but "I don't have any authority to do anything about it."

And now Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and Attorney General Lawrence Wasden have filed suit against the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, citing the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which orders to tribes to only offer games that are legal within the state where they are operating; and the Idaho Constitution prohibits live poker.

"Despite discussions with tribal leaders and our best efforts at avoiding this situation, we have no choice to but act," said Otter.

"My job now is to vigorously litigate this case and ensure the tribe complies with the provisions of the compact," said Wasden.

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