North Idaho Tribe: State Poker Ban Doesn't Apply

Apr 17, 2014

Credit Ross Elliott / Flickr Creative Commons

The Coeur d'Alene Tribe in northern Idaho plans to offer poker after deciding Idaho's constitutional ban on the game doesn't apply to the tribal-owned casino.

The Spokesman-Review reports the tribe has announced plans to open a poker room on May 2.

The tribe says it will offer Texas Hold' Em and Omaha.

Tribe spokesman Helo Hancock says several legal opinions have led the tribe to conclude that poker is exempted from state regulation under the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

But Jeff Anderson of the Idaho State Lottery Commission says poker isn't exempt.

Anderson has asked the National Indian Gaming Commission to make a determination.

Commission spokesman Eric Shepard says the commission is working through an analysis.

Meanwhile, the tribe has hired poker dealers.