Gambling Bust Reveals Idaho and Washington Differences on Super Bowl Pool Betting


While Washington state officials came down hard on a Super Bowl gambling pool recently, this morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Idaho officials wouldn't have expected a similar crackdown in the Gem State.

Washington law prohibits sports betting boards of more than 100 squares and bets of more than $1 per square. As such, a Super Bowl gambling pool was broken up Jan. 31 in the Washington community of Clarkston Heights, right across the Idaho border. The Assotin (Wash.) County Sheriff's Department was notified by the Washington State Gambling Commission of the Clarkston pool, which allegedly promised a $10,000 prize.

Meanwhile, in the Gem State, a spokesman for the Idaho Attorney General's Office told the Tribune that a similar bust in Idaho may have been unlikely unless local law enforcement had a problem with a pool.

"We don't get involved in criminal stuff unless it gets referred to us by the county prosecutor," Idaho AG spokesman Todd Dvorak told the Tribune. "All criminal stuff starts at the county level."

Nez Perce County Sheriff's Office Deputy Chief Scott Gleason told the Tribune that gambling prosecutions were rare. In fact, Gleason said he had not investigated a gambling case.

And the a spokesman for the Idaho Lottery Commission, which has a law enforcement division, told the Tribune that they focus more on charity gaming, such as bingo and raffles. Idaho nonprofits that make more than $5,000 in fundraising raffles or bingo game must be licensed by the state. In 2013, the lottery commission investigated three raffles and 11 individual cases of lottery theft, including stolen tickets.